timothy brooks

The "social section" in Crawford County Library's Van Buren branch (Screenshot from court documents)

Federal suit challenging Arkansas’ library obscenity law set for trial in October 2024

BY: - December 1, 2023

The trial in the federal lawsuit challenging the Arkansas law that would change how libraries handle controversial material is set to begin in mid-October next year, according to court documents filed Friday. Eighteen plaintiffs sued the state in June over Act 372 of 2023, which would alter libraries’ material reconsideration processes and create criminal liability […]

A teenager uses a laptop with a phone nearby. States are passing laws designed to keep kids away from social media and porn sites, but the effectiveness of the laws is being questioned by opponents and challenged in court. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)

Central Arkansas school district drops library’s digital learning tools, citing lack of ‘filter’

BY: - November 17, 2023

More than 11,000 Pulaski County students are unable to access online educational materials through their local public library as a legal precaution, according to school district administrators, in light of the statewide debate over what content children should be able to access in libraries. The Pulaski County Special School District, which covers the rest of […]

Arkansas social media age verification law struck down by federal court

BY: - August 31, 2023

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Arkansas’ new social media age verification law aimed at protecting children online hours before it was set to take effect. The law — a priority of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders — would’ve been the first of its kind implemented in the U.S., requiring new users on large social networks […]

Federal judge considers blocking Arkansas social media verification law

BY: and - August 15, 2023

A federal judge said Tuesday he plans to decide whether to block Arkansas’ new social media age verification law before its effective date, Sept. 1.  Act 689, passed in April, requires large social media companies to use a vendor for “reasonable age verification” before allowing access to their sites. Those under 18 may only access […]

Library books on shelves. (Getty Images)

Arkansas county asks judge to change portions of ruling that blocked library censorship law

BY: - August 7, 2023

Crawford County, entangled in two library censorship lawsuits, asked a federal judge on Monday to amend his July order that blocked a new state library law from taking effect and declining to dismiss the county from that lawsuit. Crawford County’s Monday motion argued U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks wrongfully relied on evidence and facts in […]

Federal appeals court upholds Josh Duggar’s child pornography conviction

BY: - August 7, 2023

A panel of three federal appeals judges upheld the child pornography conviction of Josh Duggar, a member of the Arkansas family known for their presence in reality television and Republican politics. Duggar, of Springdale, was convicted in December 2021 of possessing child pornography after a jury trial in Fayetteville. U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks sentenced […]

Ruling against Arkansas library law supports separate case in Crawford County, plaintiffs say

BY: - August 2, 2023

A federal judge’s ruling against Arkansas’ library censorship law supports three Crawford County parents’ legal case against their local library system, the plaintiffs said in two court filings Wednesday. Rebecka Virden, Nina Prater, Samantha Rowlett and their minor children are all Crawford County residents and library patrons. They sued the county judge, quorum court, library […]

A majority of the books being challenged in school and community libraries are written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

Federal judge temporarily blocks two sections of Arkansas’ library obscenity law

BY: - July 29, 2023

A federal judge temporarily blocked portions of the law that would have changed how Arkansas libraries handle controversial material and put the availability of certain books in the hands of elected officials. U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks granted plaintiffs’ request to enjoin two of the five sections of Act 372 of 2023, which would alter […]

Federal judge will rule this week on imminent application of Arkansas’ library obscenity law

BY: - July 25, 2023

A federal judge will decide later this week whether to temporarily block the law that changes how Arkansas libraries handle controversial material or let it go into effect next week as scheduled. Act 372 of 2023 alters libraries’ material reconsideration processes and creates criminal liability for librarians who distribute content that some consider “obscene” or […]