American Booksellers Association, Inc. v. Schiff

868 F.2d 1199 (10th Cir. 1989), rev’g 649 F. Supp. 1009 (D.N.M. 1986)

On March 6, 1989, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs had standing to bring the case[1], reversing the U.S. District Court judgment.

In 1985, New Mexico amended its harmful to minors law to make it illegal for retailers to knowingly show material harmful to minors within the reach of minors and for retailers to put such materials, if the cover depicts certain sexually-oriented activities, on open display.

Media Coalition filed a legal challenge on behalf of some of its members to the new law, arguing that as amended, the statute is overbroad and imposes prior restraint on retailers.

In 1986, Judge Ray Baldock of the U.S. District Court of New Mexico dismissed the challenge for lack of standing[2], because there had been no criminal prosecutions with regards to the New Mexico law.

Plaintiffs: American Booksellers Association, Inc.; Association of American Publishers; International Periodical Distributors Association; Council for Periodical Distributors Association, Inc.; Salt of the Earth Books and Periodicals, Inc.; New Bedford, Ltd. d/b/a Books West of Santa Fe; National Association of College Stores, Inc.

Last updated: Oct 16, 2017