3 months ago

Autograph law repeal now on Governor Brown’s desk

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.

This time last year, Hamill’s bill was signed by Governor Brown, and it was almost immediately condemned by bookstores across the state. The law made it nearly impossible for booksellers who make their living selling signed books to continue their business. A few months later, PLF filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of one of those bookstores — Book Passage — alleging that the law violated our client’s First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech. [For more on our lawsuit check out the case page or the many posts by my co-counsel Anastasia Boden.]

The California legislature, which followed the dark side months earlier, saw the light, and immediately began the arduous process of reforming Hamill’s bill. Both Ms. Boden and I testified before the legislature on behalf of our client.  The resulting reform completely exempts bookstores from Hamill’s law, and if signed by the Governor, will be a complete vindication or our client’s First Amendment rights.

Our civil rights lawsuit is on hold pending action from the Governor, but we fully expect the Emperor to defeat Luke Skywalker this time. However, if Luke gets Governor Brown to veto this bill, PLF and our rebel alliance will be ready to vindicate the Constitution in court.

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