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Press Release

June 11 court hearing scheduled on temporary injunction of Iowa book ban law

Penguin Random House and ISEA set to argue against book bans in federal court
Published: June 10, 2024

The United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, MN, will hear oral arguments in tomorrow's Penguin Random House et al. v. John Robbins et al. case. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of SF 496, which Governor Reynolds signed into law in May 2023. The court’s oral arguments begin at 9:00 am.


“We stand united with Iowa’s public education professionals and are proud of their daily work to uphold the best interests of their students, families, and communities. The law, banning important books in our schools is a burden for our educators who face punishment for not guessing which books fit into a supposed offensive category, and the students who are deprived of reading books by great authors,” said ISEA President Mike Beranek.


“Our case has garnered support from over 20 organizations and all five major publishing houses. This overwhelming support is a testament to our shared belief: the United States Constitution and its freedoms are always worth fighting for. The support for Iowa educators, librarians, students, and authors who defend the fundamental right to read and freedom of expression is resounding,” said Christy Hickman, ISEA General Counsel and Associate Executive Director of Advocacy Services.


The Iowa State Education Association and three of its members are actively involved as plaintiffs in this case. The case was last heard in December 2023 in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, where Judge Stephen Locher ruled in favor and entered a preliminary injunction, putting the law on hold. Tomorrow’s hearing marks the next crucial step in the judicial process of the case.


Listen live starting at 10:30 (subject to change in court scheduling): 

Dial 1-888-363-4749
And use Access Code:  4423562


Leading in our schools, communities, and state.

The Iowa State Education Association works to promote, advance, and protect public education, the education profession, and the rights and interests of our members. When you join the ISEA, you’re joining forces with the power and influence of 3.2 million members nationwide.