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Last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2008
(UNDATED) - A new Indiana law that required a fee for book stores and other retailers to sell sexually explicit material has been struck down by a federal judge in Indianapolis.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans barker ruled that the law is unconstitutionally vague. The measure was sponsored by Representative Terry Goodin, a Democrat from Crothersville.
Plaintiffs included Big Hat Books of Broad Ripple, Boxcar Books and Community Center in Bloomington and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The ACLU of Indiana represented the plaintiffs.
Director Ken Falk said their first concern was that this was a first amendment violation, an attempt to regulate free speech.
"The other concerns were this was a criminal statute which was very vague." said Falk. "It was sort of impossible to tell who it applied to and when it applied and also was overbroad. It took in so much activity that clearly is constitutionally protected."
In her ruling, Judge Barker said a romance novel sold at a drugstore, a magazine offering sex advice in a grocery store checkout line or an R-rated DVD sold by a video rental shop could fall under the statute the way it's written.
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