The Local Search Association, a trade group for the phone book industry, really wants to make sure they can continue shoving an unsolicited lump of wood pulp on your doorstep every year. As the Chronicle reports this morning, the group has taken San Francisco's ban on yellow pages (the one ban we actually like) to Federal court this week to ask for an "emergency halt" on the legislation that doesn't actually take effect for another nine months. Their argument against the ban? Well, it's a free speech issue, naturally.

As Neg Norton, president of the phone book trade group, told the press: "The First Amendment does not permit the city to arbitrarily restrict the distribution of Yellow Pages out of a misguided belief that directories are less valuable than other media."

Got that? Phone books deserve respect as a valuable form of media. Like free weekly newspapers or the Internet. They are, after all, the world's #1 source for personal injury lawyers.

Anyway, City Hall sounds as dumbfounded as we are about the Local Search Association's attempt to ban our ban. A spokesperson for the City Attorney told the Chron, "we're puzzled," as to why the industry needs immediate relief from a program that doesn't start until next May.

Previously: Board of Supervisors Votes to Ban Yellow Pages