The Autauga-Prattville Public Library (APPL) board is requesting a federal judge dismiss a lawsuit brought by left-wing advocates after the library developed policies regarding the availability of sexually explicit children’s books.

The motion to dismiss comes after the APPL board of trustees recently changed the administrative rules the plaintiffs claimed were unconstitutional, vague and overly broad. The newly changed rules align the APPL policies with those of the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) and give the library director the authority to determine if a book meets the definition of "obscene" or "sexually explicit."

SEE: 'Today the people of Alabama won ': State library board approves rule changes for sexually explicit library books

SEE ALSO: Prattville library board passes rule change regulating ordering, placement of 'obscene' books

The APPL has found itself embroiled in controversy ever since a group of residents complained about the ready availability of sexually explicit and LGBTQ+-affirming books in the children’s section.

After months of dueling between those supporting and those opposing books' inclusion, the entire board was replaced. The board also fired a relatively new library director, who filed a now-settled suit against the board after his termination.

RELATED: Autauga-Prattville Library Board settles lawsuit with terminated library director Andrew Foster; All parties deny wrongdoing

The newly formed board also passed a series of policy changes related to the procurement and display of books that contain "obscenity, sexual conduct, sexual intercourse, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender discordance." It also mandated age-specific library cards to ensure minors could not check out specific material.

In response, the library board was sued in federal court, claiming that the policies were unconstitutional and overly broad.

The Alabama Library Association (ALLA), the state chapter of the American Library Association; Read Freely Alabama, a group started in response to the movement in Prattville; and several residents on behalf of their minor children are all named as plaintiffs in the suit.

In addition to claiming the plaintiffs failed to prove sufficient standing to bring a suit, attorneys for the APPL claim the case is moot since the rules challenged in the suit are no longer in effect.  

“In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and declaratory relief from the challenged policies,” the motion reads. “Specifically, they ask the Court for an order ‘enjoining the Board from enforcing’ the challenged policies and declaring that the policies are each unconstitutional, void, and of no effect. Having been superseded, though, the challenged policies will not be enforced, even absent any order of this Court; they are no longer in effect. Therefore, this case “no longer presents a live controversy with respect to which the court can give meaningful relief” and should be dismissed as moot.”

It continues, “Finally, the Board is compelled by the new APLS rule to consistently maintain its commitment to the new policy, lest it forfeit state funding. Consequently, this case should be dismissed as moot.”

The motion additionally states the plaintiffs’ claim to face imminent injury due to the board’s now-replaced rules doesn’t hold water since they failed to prove that any books they may desire to access were removed due to the policy.

“While the Complaint elaborates at length on the Plaintiffs’ particular tastes in reading material, no allegation states with the requisite specificity that the alleged injury is imminent,” the motion continues. “It is not enough for standing purposes to merely plead that the challenged policies may deprive the Plaintiffs of the availability of books they wish to check out and read (whether because the library may remove the books in the future or ‘decline to acquire’ them in the first place.”

Assuming the motion is granted, since the APPL board amended its rules to ensure continued state funding, the plaintiffs may be compelled to sue the APLS, requiring the state to defend any further litigation.

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