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Past Cases

Here are some recently decided cases in which the Freedom to Read Foundation has been involved.  See also: Current cases.

Recent Cases

Florence v. Shurtleff:  Federal judge rules for FTRF in Utah Internet content law

On May 16, 2012, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson entered an order in favor of FTRF and our co-plaintiffs in Florence v. Shurtleff, a case concerning a Utah law that would have criminalized the posting of content constitutionally protected for adults on generally accessible websites.  The court further held that those publishing constitutionally protected material on the Internet are not required by law to rate or label that material.

Read Media Coalition's overview of the case.

U.S. v. Alvarez: Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which criminalized the false representation of oneself as having been awarded a military medal or ribbon.  This case about the so-called "right to lie" was, in the view of FTRF and our co-amici, more precisely about the government creating a new category of unprotected speech even if it is not fraudulent or defamatory.

Read Theresa Chmara's analysis of the decision and check out FTRF's amicus brief.  Also read the transcript of oral arguments in the case.

ABFFE v. Sullivan: Federal court strikes down Alaska "harmful to minors" law

On June 30, 2011, U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline struck down Alaska's 2010 law applying the state's harmful to minors law to electronically transmitted speech.  FTRF was a plaintiff in this case along with the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, ACLU of Alaska, the Alaska Library Association, and others.  See Media Coalition's comprehensive overview of the case, including FTRF's briefs and the decision.

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, et al.:  Supreme Court strikes down California video game law

In a significant victory for the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 27, 2011 to overturn a 2006 California law that banned the sale of violent video games to minors.  FTRF joined several other parties in an amicus brief in this case.  In welcoming the decision, FTRF Executive Director Barbara Jones stated, "We are especially pleased that librarians can continue to protect and uphold the First Amendment rights of all library users, including young people, whether the materials in question are video games or any other library resources."

Read the full Media Coalition summary of the case.

Past Cases 

Visit the History of FTRF page for a chronological list of FTRF cases and other activities from 1969-2009.

In addition, FTRF General Counsel Theresa Chmara's video on FTRF cases from 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The program was entitled "Status of Recent Litigation Affecting Libraries."

 See also: Current cases