Federal judges consider Texas law requiring book ratings in schools

House Bill 900, which created a rating system for books in schools, had another day in court this week.

By Alexandra Hart & Wells DunbarDecember 1, 2023 11:02 am, ,

Federal judges heard arguments about Texas’ House Bill 900, which mandates booksellers to assign ratings based on sexually explicit content to books used in school libraries.

Independent Texas bookstores sued over the law, Texas Tribune managing editor Matthew Watkins explains. Their argument, he summarizes, went that HB 900 “requires booksellers to rate the explicitness of the books, compels speech and is also just kind of impossible to comply with.”

A federal judge initially blocked enforcement of HB 900 before it went to an appeals court on Wednesday, Watkins says. “And now we await to see what those justices say as to whether this law will stand.”

For more stories from the week in Texas politics, listen to our interview in the audio player above.