Wittliff | Cutter partners Ryan Botkin, Leah Buratti, María Amelia Calaf, and Katherine Chiarello are proud to represent a citizens group in Llano, Texas, in a First Amendment lawsuit over the removal of thousands of digital and physical books from the library’s catalog simply because a small group of county officials “disagrees with the ideas within them.”
The suit, filed on April 25 in federal court in San Antonio, was filed against several Llano County officials who were involved in the decision to remove the books. The suit is Leila Green Little, et al. v. Llano County, et al., No. 5:22-cv-00400. Wittliff | Cutter is co-counsel with BraunHagey & Borden.
According to a story in The Washington Post,
In the 31-page filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, a group of anti-censorship activists say that county officials violated the First Amendment when they removed the books, and that they did so again when they “permanently terminated access to over 17,000 digital books” they could not censor, affecting the elderly and people with disabilities who find it hard to travel to the physical library. Commissioners also voted to close library board meetings to the public, a move that also denied these citizens equal protection under the law, the suit argues.
The lawsuit has also been covered by The Texas Tribune and The Dallas Morning News, among other publications.
“Sometimes, you have no choice but to take on a case,” said María Amelia Calaf, Wittliff | Cutter’s managing partner. “When we heard what was happening in Llano, we immediately agreed to represent these plaintiffs. After all, this is precisely why we went to law school; to vindicate the rights of citizens wanting to speak up against constitutional violations. We are fortunate to work at a firm that affords us the opportunity to take on these important issues. ”