A judge has struck down a New Orleans ordinance that prevented Josh Wexler and Anne Jordan Blanton from getting a permit to sell used books and blank journals on the streets of New Orleans. In April, the couple, recent college grads, sued the city, with the assistance of the Institute for Justice, and won a temporary restraining order allowing the pair to sell books.

The city ordinance on vending allowed the sale of such things as razor blades and pencils, but not specifically books. Last week, Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr., from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, ruled that the New Orleans ordinance "operates as an overriding ban on bookselling" and that Wexler and Blanton would "be denied First Amendment freedoms if the ordinance is enforced."

The city produced no witnesses or evidence to support the ordinance; Wexler and Blanton persuaded the judge there was ample room for foot traffic on the sidewalk area where they plan to set up a table. Dana Berliner, attorney for the booksellers, said, "New Orleans's policy of banning book vending throughout the city is unquestionably unconstitutional and we're glad the court agreed."

Shortly after the April injunction, Wexler and Blanton started selling books on a sidewalk near Audubon Park, close to Tulane University.