Illinois State University’s Milner Library will host Justice James Knecht and the University Debate Team on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. on the library’s main floor. The debate, Freedom to Read Sexually Explicit Material, is free and open to the public.
The debate focuses on a case making its way through the Alaska court system, ABFFE v. Sullivan, which at its most basic is a First Amendment concern. The case is a question from the perspective of educators and librarians who are subject to prosecution for selling or loaning a book, magazine or video to a minor if that material is deemed “harmful to minors” (i.e., nudity or sexually related material), as well as from the perspective of parents and minors who might be deprived of literature, books depicting paintings and statuary, and popular journalism in magazines.
As originally written, the bill included parents, and the material would include any deemed age-appropriate. A minor (for this case) is an individual 16 years of age or younger. If prosecuted, the charge would be a felony charge.
A “decision” for the debate will be rendered both by the audience and Knecht, Justice of the Appellate Court, Fourth District, State of Illinois.