Indiana Law Overturned, Ruled Unconstitutional

Thanks to Kari, who directed me to this article, we have news that the Indiana law that “required booksellers and others to pay a fee for selling ‘adult’ material” was overruled by a Federal judge. Sarah’s Succinct Legal Commentary: “Thank God and thank judges named Sarah.”

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled that the law “burdens First Amendment rights and is unconstitutionally vague and overly broad.”

I’ll give you a moment to celebrate before pointing your attention, as Kari directed, towards the comments, specifically one by “Phred” who lovingly states,

As someone else said, you didn’t need to be a Harvard Law grad to see the folly in this “law.” And by the way, if you want to read some really explicit stuff, check out some of the “romance” novels at your local Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library branch. They make the letters in Penthouse Forum seem tame!

I think it’s time I ran for Queen. And when I am Queen, it will be none of anyone else’s goddam business what I read, what’s in what I read, where I buy it or where I borrow it from. Same goes for you, Phred. And if you can’t tell the difference between Penthouse Forum and a romance, you need to avail yourself of that library some more, and stop reading so much of the Forum to begin with before you start passing judgment on what is and what isn’t explicit.

 

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  1. 1
    LeaF says:

    “I think it’s time I ran for Queen. And when I am Queen, it will be none of anyone else’s goddam business what I read, what’s in what I read, where I buy it or where I borrow it from. Same goes for you, Phred. And if you can’t tell the difference between Penthouse Forum and a romance, you need to avail yourself of that library some more, and stop reading so much of the Forum to begin with before you start passing judgment on what is and what isn’t explicit.”

    Very well said, as always Sarah.

    One really does have to question what “Phred’s”, actual literary repertoire is to make such a moronic remark. I ask, while shaking my head….

  2. 2
    nekobawt says:

    whoa, really? my mom used to work at a public library in indiana, and one of her duties was to buy romance novels for their collection (though it took me 15 years to get her to actually read one, though. don’t even ask…). this is the first i heard of that law…

    though granted, if one is on the receiving end of the transaction, one wouldn’t exactly feel the crunch.

  3. 3
    Joanne says:

    Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, said the intent was not to stifle free speech but to help rural communities where weak zoning ordinances allow pornographic establishments to move in.

    See, it’s confusing to those of us who don’t have law degrees and also truly don’t care what anyone else is reading or doing as long as it doesn’t involve minors or non-consenting adults. What is it people like him want to control? What does it matter to them? 

    What doesn’t the Representative get about the fact that I guarantee that all the sexual predators in his State aren’t in jail? Why aren’t his energies directed toward working on that?

    As a member of a small community where an “adult” store wanted to open I was slack-jawed at the responses of my neighbors and local representatives. The store owners suffered untold numbers of letters to the editors of local papers and the whining about the fall of civilization in our town was un-freaking-believable…. but they moved in eventually, with a lot of free publicity.

    It wanted to—and does—sell adult “toys” and apparel and I don’t know what else since I haven’t been inside…. NOTHING, nothing I say, would get me to buy underwear from a store called ‘Giggles’… but aside from that, I haven’t ever noticed the owners doing anything but running their business and paying their taxes. Works for me.

    As for Phred… his thoughts are the same ole’ same ole’ …. and he has……. not. a. clue.

    Maybe I’m more lost then unusual but don’t our government officials have better things to do with there time and our money?

    spam word: seen42. Yes. I have and it was great.

  4. 4
    Joanne says:

    *sigh* there== their

  5. 5
    Rachel R. says:

    Forget romance novels—what I find most amusing is that if Phred can make that comparison, he’s clearly never picked up a copy of Penthouse, either.

  6. 6
    Lori says:

    The bill’s author, Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, said the intent was not to stifle free speech but to help rural communities where weak zoning ordinances allow pornographic establishments to move in.

    This is an incredibly weak excuse for trying to limit people’s rights.  If rural areas are having problems with their zoning laws they could, you know, change their zoning laws.  And if they can’t agree on changes then it would seem to me to indicate that there isn’t a community consensus about limiting places that sell porn.

  7. 7
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    And if you can’t tell the difference between Penthouse Forum and a romance, you need to avail yourself of that library some more, and stop reading so much of the Forum to begin with before you start passing judgment on what is and what isn’t explicit

    Yup.

  8. 8
    robinb says:

    whoo hooo!!!  I’m famous!  Thanks, Phred! 

    If only you would have mentioned me by name……  oh well.  Next time!

    Of course, I never trust a guy who puts “romance” in quotations.

  9. 9
    SB Sarah says:

    Of course, I never trust a guy who puts “romance” in quotations.

    THIS! FTW!

  10. 10
    Jesbelle says:

    If rural areas are having problems with their zoning laws they could, you know, change their zoning laws.

    That was the first thing I thought too!

    Followed closely by: “If these porn shops were so unwanted, they wouldn’t get any business, and would close up shop rather quickly. So clearly the people of Indiana want their porn!” And really, I am not going to judge.

  11. 11
    Lori says:

    So clearly the people of Indiana want their porn!” And really, I am not going to judge.

    This.

    I’ve read that, based on internet searches & such, the so=called Red States love their porn as much or more than the Blue States.  The fact that some percentage of the population doesn’t want to know that does no change the facts.

  12. 12
    amy lane says:

    I’d vote for your queen-ship any time, darling!

    And I’m thinking that if we spent more time and more money stocking libraries than trying to limit what people are reading, maybe we’d have some faith in a population that could choose it’s own reading material—or boinking material—all by it’s little ol’ lonesome.

  13. 13
    Kaite says:

    If rural areas are having problems with their zoning laws they could, you know, change their zoning laws.

    Oh, but that would be logical and sensible, and as a resident of the fine state of Indiana, I can vouch for the fact that those two qualities are lacking in our elected representatives. :-p

    And I can also vouch that there is an awful lot of nothing between small towns out there, with precious little to do other than wank off to porn. Or cow tipping. Or maybe cooking meth. But not much else goes on out there in the middle bits. :-

    Oh, the joys of a misspent youth!

    Spaminator: now82. No, I’m not. And it’s not 1982, either. WTF?

  14. 14
    Susie says:

    Oh goodie, I hadn’t heard this yet.  I didn’t see it in my local paper.  You see, Mr. Goodin is my local representative.  And no, I didn’t put him there!  His small town of Crothersville has a new porn shop that the county failed to keep out.  I just wish he would work on the ENORMOUS amount of meth labs in his small town!!!

  15. 15
    ev says:

    I always find it amusing to see how far someone can try and push what the Supreme Court has ruled is obscene and therefore not covered by the !st A.

    And how their ideas and beliefs should be shoved down everyone else’s throats and deemed acceptable.

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  16. 16
    Flo says:

    Don’t kill me but…. “phred” is right in one sense.  There ARE some romance novels out there that do hold as much hard core erotic as some of the Penthouse stories.  They can be just as sex filled as those stories.  Saying they aren’t because there may be some other aspect to the story is silly.

    The law itself is ridiculous.  People should be able to read whatever the fuck they want when they want.  Just call a spade a spade.  Some romance novels DO have the hot and heavy.  Nothing wrong with that!

    And by golly libraries should have whatever people want.  Just as long as they put it in the right section.  *gets fussy at misfiling*

    Ooo ha!  children95… WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!  *tear*

  17. 17

    First off, need to say I’m glad the law was overturned.

    Mainly because I live there.

    But the brains behind it originally had a viewpoint I could understand, namely, IIRC, the original lawmaker-the town he lived in had a store apply for a license claiming it was going to sell convenience type stuff, milk, cereal, lotto tickets, beer, the typical 7-11 type of store. (Again, I’m going off this on memory from when I researched what in the world was going on and nope, I didn’t really research beyond the basic info I found.  I could easily be wrong.)

    Disclaimer done…anyway, this supposed convenience store opened, and in a fairly residential area, and turned out to be an adult store.

    Dunno about you all, but I don’t want to walk my kid to the park and pass by a store where there’s a couple that’s all but doing it portrayed on a poster plastered in the window. 

    Some of the signs I’ve seen in such stores leave very little to the imagination, and my six year old son would just love to know what’s going on.  I’m one of the parents that don’t believe in lying/fudging to my kids, so that could lead to some awkward issues where I stammer and come up with an answer that isn’t a lie, but isn’t giving the kid more than he should or needs to know. 

    Sexuality introduced too soon is something that is harmful to kids-I can understand the need to prevent it, and I think the general public does have that right.  They should be able to act on what they feel is in the community’s best interest.  But if deceitful practices are used, that right is more or less circumvented, and it’s harder to fix after the fact.

    So, originally, it started because a store used deceitful practices when applying for its business license.  Yep, the lawmakers went overboard, but I can understand the need to protect young kids from seeing things they shouldn’t see. To protect families in general, and yeah, I can understand the need to protect the general ‘feel’ of a neighborhood.  We’ve got some adult stores around that look fairly classy, don’t look like an XXX store ad don’t have those 3 feet wide and five feet tall pics plastered in the window. 

    But then some of them look like sleaze-bag motels and I’d rather some of that not be in my neighborhood and I definitely don’t want it near my kids’ schools/playgrounds either.

    But I do feel the lawmakers went a little too far, were a little too vague, and didn’t focus on the real issue, namely deceitful practices used by those who apply for licensure.  I’d think there would be a way to require businesses to list all they plan to sell and if it involves material that isn’t appropriate for a neighborhood area, then the neighborhood area can act beforehand, trying to object to whatever licensure,  instead of trying to do something after the fact, if that makes sense…

    More, if a business misleads people in their filing, I don’t think it’s out of hand to suggest their license be revoked.

    But I’m definitely glad the law was overturned-and yep, I definitely hope they do something to address deceitful business filings that can hopefully do something to prevent the mess that started this in the first place.

    **too lazy, too tired to check out the info to make sure I’ve got it right, so I could be wrong,and if I am, I apologize and just feel free to ignore my ramblings.  ;)  My friends do it all the time.

  18. 18
    Lori says:

    I can totally understand not wanting explicit material in view, especially in a residential area, but that really is a zoning issue.  Not to mention the fact that a store that applied for a business license using fraud can have that license revoked.  There just doesn’t seem to me to have been any justification for the law that was passed.

  19. 19
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    …wait, you mean Phred wasn’t making an honest recommendation?

    Verification word: larger93.  Insert your own joke here.

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