UPDATE: House Bill 1163 failed in the House Education Committee.
House Bill 1163 would prohibit libraries from offering “obscene material” to minors.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Bill 1163. The bill is a blatant attempt at censorship, pure and simple. Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court set the high constitutional bar that defines obscenity — a narrow, well-defined category of unprotected speech that excludes any work with serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. Since then, few if any books have been deemed obscene. And the standards for restraining a bookseller or library’s ability to distribute a book are even more stringent.