Federal appeals court blocks Texas from enforcing book rating law for schools

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday from enforcing a state law requiring booksellers to rate the explicitness and relevance of sexual references in materials they sell to schools.

The appellate court, one of the most conservative in the nation, agreed with booksellers who sued the state, claiming the 2023 law violated their First Amendment rights. The court affirmed a district court’s temporary injunction, preventing TEA Commissioner Mike Morath from enforcing House Bill 900.

In November, a panel of 5th Circuit judges blocked a ruling from a federal judge who had barred Texas from enforcing the law in late August.