A federal judge here today struck down an Indiana law requiring bookstores and other retail establishments that sell even a single “sexually explicit” book, magazine, video or recording to register with the state and pay a $250 license fee. “Clearly, a vast array of merchants and materials is implicated by the reach of this statute as written,” Judge Sarah Evans Barker declared in a written opinion. “A romance novel sold at a drugstore, a magazine offering sex advice in a grocery store checkout line, an R-rated DVD sold by a video rental shop, a collection of old Playboy magazines sold by a widow at a garage sale – all incidents of unquestionably lawful, non-obscene, non-pornographic material being sold to adults – would appear to necessitate registration under the statute.”
The judge’s full opinion can be viewed here. The state has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the decision. Update 7/3/08: The state will not appeal the decision!
It’s a great day for free speech. Hurrah!