Powell's wins challenge against sex abuse law

Powell's wins challenge against sex abuse law

Powell's wins challenge against sex abuse law

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by David Krough

kgw.com

Posted on September 20, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 20 at 5:56 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- A federal appeals court ruled Monday that two Oregon laws meant to protect children from sexual predators were unconstitutional when it came to First Amendment violations.

The lawsuit was filed against state Attorney General John Kroger by the American Civil Liberties Union, Powell's Books, Dark horse Comics and a number of other Oregon booksellers, that feared the law could be used aginst sex education and other non-obscene books, the ACLU said.

State of Oregon officials argued that the statutes applied only to "hardcore pornography," but the Ninth Circuit Court found that they applied to a wide array of materials.

The plaintiffs did not challenge an existing law making it a crime to contact a minor with the intent of having sexual contact.

"It is also a victory for booksellers who do not want to ask 13-year-olds for identification or risk going to jail for selling a Judy Blume book," Powell's owner Michael Powell said.

Some of the books that could have fallen under prosecution were “The Joy of Sex,” "Where Do Babies Come From,” and Judy Blume’s “Forever.”

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