Book Banning and Related Activities

Opinions & Commentaries

This is a proceeding under § 22-a of the New York Code of Criminal Procedure (L. 1941, c. 925), as amended in 1954 (L. 1954, c. 702). This section supplements the existing conventional criminal provision dealing with pornography by authorizing the chief executive, or legal officer, of a municipality to invoke a "limited injunctive remedy," under closely defined procedural safeguards, against the sale and distribution of written and printed matter found after due trial to be obscene, and to obtain an order for the seizure, in default of surrender, of the condemned publications.[1]

READ MORE


Four out-of-state distributors sued the Rhode Island Commission to Encourage Morality in Youth. The Commission would notify distributors which books the Commission deemed obscene and would recommend to law enforcement which distributors did not cooperate. The Supreme Court of Rhode Island declined to hold the law unconstitutional and stop its enforcement.

READ MORE


378 U.S. 205 (1964) A QUANTITY OF COPIES OF BOOKS ET AL. v. KANSAS.   No. 449. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued April 1-2, 1964. Decided June 22, 1964. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF KANSAS.*206 Stanley Fleishman argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs was Sam Rosenwein. William M…. Read more

READ MORE


Overruled

Massachusetts declared Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, an erotic novel published in 1750, to be legally obscene under the test articulated by the Supreme Court in Roth v. United States (1957). However, upon review, the Supreme Court found error in their application of the Roth test. Roth required a work to appeal as a whole to a prurient interest, be patently offensive, and be utterly without redeeming social value. Because the book had been found to have some redeeming social value, even if slight, this was enough to save the work from being declared legally obscene.

READ MORE


In 1974, respondent Reader's Digest Association, Inc., published a book entitled KGB, the Secret Work of Soviet Agents (KGB), written by respondent John Barron.[1] The book describes the Soviet Union's espionage organization and chronicles its activities since World War II. In a passage referring to disclosures by "royal commissions in Canada and Australia, and official investigations in Great Britain and the United States," the book contains the following statements relating to petitioner Ilya Wolston:

READ MORE


444 U.S. 507 (1980) SNEPP v. UNITED STATES. No. 78-1871. Supreme Court of United States. Decided February 19, 1980.[*] ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT. PER CURIAM. In No. 78-1871, Frank W. Snepp III seeks review of a judgment enforcing an agreement that he… Read more

READ MORE


457 U.S. 853 (1982) BOARD OF EDUCATION, ISLAND TREES UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 26, ET AL. v. PICO, BY HIS NEXT FRIEND PICO, ET AL.   No. 80-2043. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued March 2, 1982. Decided June 25, 1982. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT*855… Read more

READ MORE


We granted certiorari to decide whether the First Amendment bars enforcement of a statute authorizing closure of a premises found to be used as a place for prostitution and lewdness because the premises are also used as an adult bookstore.

READ MORE


[††]We have before us two decisions of the Indiana courts, involving the application of that State's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and Civil Remedies for Racketeering Activity (CRRA) Acts to cases involving bookstores containing allegedly obscene materials.

READ MORE