Free Expression

10 Mar

Sanders Reintroduces Freedom to Read Protection Act

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09 Mar

Madison Lobbying Amendment May Burden Small Business Owners' Free Speech

In Madison, Wisconsin, a proposed ordinance that amends a 2001 city law that requires lobbyists to register and report expenses related to their activities could have a chilling effect on public dialogue, according to Sandra Torkildson, owner of A Room of One's Own Bookstore.

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03 Mar

Patriot Act Battle Begins Anew

On Wednesday, March 9, Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is expected to hold a press conference in Washington, D.C., to announce that he is reintroducing the Freedom to Read Protection Act, legislation to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act to protect the privacy of bookstore and library patrons. Representing independent booksellers at the press conference will be Linda Ramsdell of The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont, and ABA COO Oren Teicher.

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03 Mar

Bill Maher to Perform at BEA Book Industry Foundation Benefit

Comedian and author Bill Maher will perform for an audience of booksellers and other book industry professionals at this year's BookExpo America Book Industry Foundation Benefit. The exclusive, "closed" appearance on Saturday, June 4, at New York City's The Town Hall will benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Association of American Publishers Get Caught Reading Campaign.

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17 Feb

BTW News Briefs


MPBA Announces Regional Book Award Winners

The Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPBA) recently announced its 2005 Regional Book Award Winners. The purpose of the Regional Book Awards is to honor outstanding books that are set in the MPBA region, which includes Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The winners were:

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17 Feb

Michigan Bookseller Defends Freedom to Read

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17 Feb

Victory Final in Arkansas Display Statute Challenge

Last week in U.S. District Court, the Arkansas State's Attorney General dropped the appeal of a federal court decision that struck down the provisions of an Arkansas code that criminalized the display of books that are inappropriate to younger minors, but constitutionally protected as to older minors and adults. The state's decision marks the end of the case and signals a First Amendment victory for the plaintiffs. As part of the settlement agreement, the state will pay the plaintiffs' legal fees.

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30 Nov

ABFFE Challenges Texas Board of Ed, Vice President Cheney

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) recently filed amicus briefs in two cases challenging First Amendment rights.

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23 Nov

A First Amendment Victory in Arkansas

On Tuesday, November 16, a federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, struck down the provisions of an Arkansas Code that criminalized the display of books that are inappropriate to younger minors but constitutionally protected as to older minors and adults. "Our victory in Arkansas is great news," said Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), one of the plaintiffs in the case.

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11 Nov

CRP Sponsors Vow to Continue Battle to Amend Section 215

This week, the sponsors of the Campaign for Reader Privacy (CRP), www.readerprivacy.org, vowed to continue their efforts to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Last week's re-election of President George W. Bush almost ensures there will be a major battle next year over the reauthorization of Section 215, as well as other controversial sections of the act that are set to expire on December 31.

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28 Oct

Customers Testify SAFE(ly) at Ninth Street

On Thursday, October 21, Common Cause of Delaware, a nonprofit citizens lobbying organization dedicated to government reform and accountability, held a citizen's public meeting on the Safety and Freedom Ensured Act (S. 1709, SAFE Act) at Ninth Street Book Store in Wilmington, Delaware. The SAFE Act seeks to amend provisions of the USA Patriot Act, including Section 215, which gives law enforcement officials broad authority to demand that libraries or bookstores turn over books, records, papers, and documents.

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27 Oct

Arkansas Supreme Court Says Display Law Covers All Minors

On Thursday, October 21, the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected the Arkansas Attorney General's contention that amendments to an Arkansas statute restricting the "display" of material that is "harmful to minors" applied to materials only harmful to more mature minors. The Supreme Court's opinion means that, when the case goes back to the federal judge, it will most likely be struck down on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

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13 Oct

CRP Petitions: Not Too Late

Although the formal presentation to Congress of thousands of Campaign for Reader Privacy petitions took place on September 29, bookstores that still have signed petitions should send them to the American Booksellers Association. "We'll be doing a supplementary presentation to Congress" said ABA COO Oren Teicher, "so, even after the deadline, if bookstores still have signed petitions, they should send in what they've got.

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12 Oct

Ninth Street Book Store to Host Common Cause SAFE Act Hearing

On Thursday, October 21, Common Cause of Delaware, a nonprofit citizens lobbying organization dedicated to government reform and accountability, will hold a citizen's public meeting on the Safety and Freedom Ensured Act (S. 1709, SAFE Act) at Ninth Street Book Store in Wilmington, Delaware. The SAFE Act looks to amend provisions of the USA Patriot Act, including Section 215, which gives law enforcement officials broad authority to demand that libraries or bookstores turn over books, records, papers, and documents.

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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