Sep 15, 2011

After receiving a complaint from a parent, the Cedarville School Board voted 3-2 to remove all of the books from the Harry Potter series from the open shelves of public school libraries. Students who wished to read or check out these books could do so only with written parental permission. Several students and their parents filed suit, seeking the return of the books to the open shelves. In the course of discovery, the School Board members who voted to remove the books acknowledged that they had not read many of the books and that they removed them because they exposed students to the "religion of witchcraft." In March 2003, we joined an amicus brief, principally authored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and filed at the district court level, arguing that the removal of the books constituted a violation of the First Amendment. On April 22, 2003, the judge ordered the books returned to the library shelves, and the defendants did not appeal.