In South Dakota, prisoners can't read yoga magazines, look at Japanese animation or even learn about Renaissance art.
That's because of a blanket ban on "pornography" in prisons, which is now headed to a federal judge. The man who filed the lawsuit is not a sympathetic figure—Chris Sisney is serving life for killing his girlfriend, which means even the Minneapolis alt-weekly is mocking his First Amendment lawsuit—but his lawsuit raises interesting questions about the porn ban.
According to the lawsuit, which has support from the ACLU and National Coalition Against Censorship it's unconstitutional for South Dakota to impose a statewide ban on porn. Sisney, who has filed several lawsuits over his First Amendment rights after claiming to observe certain Jewish customs and requiring accommodation for them was denied access to books including Matisse, Picasso and Modern Art in Paris.
A University of North Dakota law professor is representing him.
"Under this policy, materials can be prohibited if they show an excessive amount of inner thigh," the lawyer wrote.
South Dakota is one of a number of Conservative-run states that has labeled porn a public health risk.