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Authors Guild Submits Brief to Challenge Critical Race Theory Book Ban in California Court

Close up of the California state flag depicting a grizzly bear on a white field above the words California Republic

On December 22, 2023, the Authors Guild joined Penguin Random House and several First Amendment advocacy organizations in an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court” brief) submitted to the Superior Court of the State of California in Mae M. v. Joseph Komrosky et al. The lawsuit, filed in Riverside County, was brought by the Temecula Valley Educators Association, students, parents, and individual teachers to challenge Resolution 21, a measure adopted by the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s board of trustees that bans books espousing critical race theory. The brief supports the plaintiffs’ request to preliminarily enjoin the enforcement of Resolution 21 because the ban unlawfully restricts students’ educational rights by imposing the district’s own ideological stance.

Resolution 21 is one of many recent attempts to limit the First Amendment rights of students, teachers, and authors around the country. As the amicus brief stated: “Books play a central role in educating young Americans. The School District’s actions to censor a spectrum of viewpoints from the marketplace of ideas based on subjective opinions will disparately remove historically marginalized voices from being heard. Censorship efforts like this have historically chilled speech and negatively impacted entire generations of students by stripping them of their autonomy to read important works.”

Read our brief here (PDF).

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