The Supreme Court in Miller v. California (1973) outlined three questions that must be asked and answered to determine if a particular material is obscene: 1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the “prurient interest” (an inordinate interest in sex); 2. Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct; 3. Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Opinions & Commentaries

Overruled

Complainant directs its argument to three propositions: (1) The statute in controversy imposes an unlawful burden on interstate commerce; (2) it violates the freedom of speech and publication guaranteed by § 11, art. 1, of the constitution of the State of Ohio;[1] and (3) it attempts to delegate legislative power to censors and to other boards to determine whether the statute offends in the particulars designated.

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236 U.S. 273 35 S.Ct. 383 59 L.Ed. 573 JAY FOX, Plff. in Err.,v.STATE OF WASHINGTON. No. 134. Submitted January 19, 1915. Decided February 23, 1915. Mr. Gilbert E. Roe for plaintiff in error. [Argument of Counsel from page 274 intentionally omitted] Mr. W. V. Tanner, Attorney General of Washington, and Mr. Fred G. Remann,… Read more

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Appellant is a New York City bookdealer, convicted, on information,[1] of a misdemeanor for having in his possession with intent to sell certain magazines charged to violate subsection 2 of § 1141 of the New York Penal Law. It reads as follows:

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The question in this case is whether the shipment of obscene phonograph records in interstate commerce is prohibited by § 245 of the Criminal Code, which makes illegal the interstate shipment of any "obscene . . . book, pamphlet, picture, motion-picture film, paper, letter, writing, print, or other matter of indecent character."

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346 U.S. 587 (1954) SUPERIOR FILMS, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF OHIO, DIVISION OF FILM CENSORSHIP, HISSONG, SUPERINTENDENT.   No. 217. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued January 6, 1954. Decided January 18, 1954. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO.[*]John C. Harlor argued the cause for appellant in No. 217. With him… Read more

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This appeal from a judgment of conviction entered by the Recorder's Court of the City of Detroit, Michigan, *381 challenges the constitutionality of the following provision, § 343, of the Michigan Penal Code:

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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]

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The defendant operated a mail-order business that mailed circulars, advertisements, and a book that the trial court held to be legally obscene and therefore without First Amendment protection.

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Once again the Court is required to consider the impact of New York's motion picture licensing law upon First Amendment liberties, protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by the States. Cf. Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U. S. 495.

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Appellant, the proprietor of a bookstore, was convicted in a California Municipal Court under a Los Angeles City ordinance which makes it unlawful "for any person to have in his possession any obscene or indecent writing. [or] book . . . [i]n any place of business where . . . books . . . are sold or kept for sale."[1] The offense was defined by the Municipal Court, and by the Appellate *149 Department of the Superior Court,[2] which affirmed the Municipal Court judgment imposing a jail sentence on appellant, as consisting solely of the possession, in the appellant's bookstore, of a certain book found upon judicial investigation to be obscene. The definition included no element of scienter—knowledge by appellant of the contents of the book—and thus the ordinance was construed as imposing a "strict" or "absolute" criminal liability.[3] The appellant made timely objection below that if the ordinance were so construed it would be in conflict with the Constitution of the United States. This contention, together with other contentions based on the Constitution,[4] was rejected, and the case comes here on appeal. 28 U. S. C. § 1257 (2); 358 U. S. 926.

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370 U.S. 478 (1962) MANUAL ENTERPRISES, INC., ET AL. v. DAY, POSTMASTER GENERAL. No. 123. Supreme Court of United States. Argued February 26-27, 1962. Decided June 25, 1962. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. *479 Stanley M. Dietz argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the… Read more

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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.

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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

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A manager of a movie theater in Ohio was convicted for “possessing and exhibiting an allegedly obscene film” for showing Les Amants.

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378 U.S. 577 (1964) GROVE PRESS, INC., v. GERSTEIN, STATE ATTORNEY, ET AL. No. 718. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 22, 1964. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, THIRD DISTRICT. Edward de Grazia and Richard Yale Feder for petitioner. James W. Kynes, Attorney General of… Read more

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378 U.S. 576 (1964) TRALINS v. GERSTEIN, STATE ATTORNEY.   No. 246. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 22, 1964. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, THIRD DISTRICT.Richard Yale Feder and Howard W. Dixon for petitioner. Richard W. Ervin, Attorney General of Florida, Herbert P…. Read more

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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.

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This case, like Ginzburg v. United States, ante, p. 463, also decided today, involves convictions under a criminal obscenity statute. A panel of three judges of the Court of Special Sessions of the City of New York found appellant guilty of violating § 1141 of the New York Penal Law[1] by hiring others to prepare obscene books, publishing obscene books, and possessing obscene books with intent to sell them.[2] 26 Misc. 2d 152, 207 N. Y. S. 2d 390 *504 (1960). He was sentenced to prison terms aggregating three years and ordered to pay $12,000 in fines for these crimes.[3] The Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed those convictions. 17 App. Div. 2d 243, 234 N. Y. S. 2d 342 (1962). The Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion. 15 N. Y. 2d 671, 204 N. E. 2d 209 (1964), remittitur amended, 15 N. Y. 2d 724, 205 N. E. 2d 201 (1965). We noted probable jurisdiction. 380 U. S. 960. We affirm.

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The defendant’s publications were found to be permeated with the “leer of the sensualist” because they discussed sexual matter “without restraint” and engaged in “pandering,” “the business of purveying textual or graphic matter openly advertised to appeal to the erotic interest of their customers.”

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384 U.S. 264 (1966) REDMOND ET UX. v. UNITED STATES. No. 1056. Supreme Court of United States. Decided May 23, 1966. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT. John Jay Hooker, Jr., for petitioners. Solicitor General Marshall for the United States. PER CURIAM. The petition… Read more

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386 U.S. 767 (1967) REDRUP v. NEW YORK. No. 3. Supreme Court of United States. Argued October 10, 1966. Decided May 8, 1967.[*] CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT. Sam Rosenwein argued the cause for petitioner in No. 3. With him on the briefs were Stanley… Read more

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388 U.S. 447 (1967) ADAY ET AL. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 149. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.Stanley Fleishman for petitioners. Solicitor General Marshall for the United States. Melvin L. Wulf, Rolland R…. Read more

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388 U.S. 449 (1967) BOOKS, INC. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 323. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT.Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson, Robert S. Erdahl and Marshall Tamor… Read more

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388 U.S. 440 (1967) KENEY v. NEW YORK.   No. 2. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COUNTY COURT OF MONROE COUNTY, NEW YORK.Eugene Gressman for petitioner. James H. Biben for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted… Read more

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388 U.S. 441 (1967) FRIEDMAN v. NEW YORK.   No. 7. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Ira H. Holley and Eugene Gressman for petitioner. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM…. Read more

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388 U.S. 442 (1967) RATNER ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 10. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE DEPARTMENT OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO.Richard A. Lavine for petitioners. Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California, and Robert… Read more

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388 U.S. 443 (1967) COBERT v. NEW YORK.   No. 21. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK.Ephraim London for petitioner. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and… Read more

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388 U.S. 444 (1967) SHEPERD ET AL. v. NEW YORK.   No. 26. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Ira H. Holley and Eugene Gressman for petitioners. Frank S. Hogan for respondent…. Read more

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388 U.S. 446 (1967) AVANSINO ET AL. v. NEW YORK.   No. 72. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.Eugene Gressman for petitioners. Frank S. Hogan for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition… Read more

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388 U.S. 448 (1967) CORINTH PUBLICATIONS, INC. v. WESBERRY ET AL.   No. 227. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA.Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. Arthur K. Bolton, Attorney General of Georgia, and G. Ernest Tidwell, Executive Assistant Attorney General, for… Read more

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388 U.S. 450 (1967) ROSENBLOOM v. VIRGINIA.   No. 366. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA.Seymour Horwitz and Melvin L. Wulf for petitioner. James B. Wilkinson for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari… Read more

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388 U.S. 452 (1967) A QUANTITY OF COPIES OF BOOKS ET AL. v. KANSAS. No. 865. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 12, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF KANSAS. Stanley Fleishman for petitioners. Robert C. Londerholm, Attorney General of Kansas, for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for… Read more

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388 U.S. 454 (1967) SCHACKMAN ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 995. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 12, 1967. APPEAL FROM THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.Burton Marks for appellants. Roger Arnebergh and Philip E. Grey for appellee. PER CURIAM. The judgments of the Superior Court of California, County… Read more

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389 U.S. 50 (1967) CENTRAL MAGAZINE SALES, LTD. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 368. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.Richard Lipsitz for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson and Jerome M. Feit… Read more

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389 U.S. 47 (1967) POTOMAC NEWS CO. v. UNITED STATES.   No. 164. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.Stanley M. Dietz for petitioner. Solicitor General Marshall, Assistant Attorney General Vinson and Jerome M. Feit… Read more

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389 U.S. 48 (1967) CONNER v. CITY OF HAMMOND.   No. 259. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided October 23, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE TWENTY-FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, LOUISIANA, PARISH OF TANGIPAHOA.Leonard B. Levy and Stanley Fleishman for petitioner. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is… Read more

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389 U.S. 89 (1967) CHANCE v. CALIFORNIA.   No. 306, Misc. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided November 6, 1967. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO.Marshall W. Krause for petitioner. Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California, and Robert R. Granucci and Michael J…. Read more

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389 U.S. 573 (1968) I. M. AMUSEMENT CORP. v. OHIO.   No. 260. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided January 15, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO.Allen Brown for appellant. Melvin G. Rueger and Calvin W. Prem for appellee. PER CURIAM. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio is reversed. Redrup… Read more

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389 U.S. 578 (1968) ROBERT-ARTHUR MANAGEMENT CORP. v. TENNESSEE EX REL. CANALE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL.   No. 679. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided January 15, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE.Longstreet Heiskell for appellant. George F. McCanless, Attorney General of Tennessee, and Thomas E. Fox, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee. PER… Read more

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390 U.S. 340 (1968) FELTON ET AL. v. CITY OF PENSACOLA.     No. 934. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided March 11, 1968. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, FIRST DISTRICT.Stanley Fleishman, Sam Rosenwein and Hugh W. Gibert for petitioners.Dave Caton for respondent. PER CURIAM…. Read more

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Ginsberg, who operated a stationery store and luncheonette, was convicted of selling “girlie” magazines to a 16-year-old boy in violation of the New York Penal Law, which made it unlawful “knowingly to sell … to a minor” under 17 “(a) any picture … which depicts nudity … and which is harmful to minors,” and “(b) any … magazine … which contains [such pictures] and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.” Ginsberg challenged the law, and his conviction, as a violation of the 1st Amendment.

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Appellants are an exhibitor and the distributor of a motion picture named "Viva Maria," which, pursuant to a city ordinance, the Motion Picture Classification Board of the appellee City of Dallas classified as "not suitable for young persons." A county court upheld the Board's determination and enjoined exhibition of the film without acceptance by appellants of the requirements imposed by the restricted classification. The Texas Court of Civil Appeals affirmed,[1] and we noted probable jurisdiction, 387 U. S. 903, to consider the First and Fourteenth Amendment issues raised by appellants with respect to appellee's classification ordinance.

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391 U.S. 53 (1968) INTERSTATE CIRCUIT, INC., ET AL. v. CITY OF DALLAS. No. 42. Supreme Court of United States. Decided May 6, 1968.[*] ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT. Grover Hartt, Jr., and Edwin Tobolowsky for petitioners in No. 42. N. Alex Bickley… Read more

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391 U.S. 462 (1968) RABECK v. NEW YORK. No. 611. Supreme Court of United States. Decided May 27, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT. Stanley Fleishman, Osmond K. Fraenkel, and Sam Rosenwein for appellant. Isidore Dollinger and Daniel J. Sullivan for appellee. PER CURIAM. Appellant,… Read more

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392 U.S. 636 (1968) LEE ART THEATRE, INC. v. VIRGINIA. No. 997. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 17, 1968. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA. Plato Cacheris for petitioner. James B. Wilkinson for respondent. PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted…. Read more

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392 U.S. 655 (1968) HENRY v. LOUISIANA.   No. 932. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 17, 1968. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA.Thomas Barr III for appellant. Jack P. F. Gremillion, Attorney General of Louisiana, and William P. Schuler, Second Assistant Attorney General, for appellee. PER CURIAM. The motion to dismiss… Read more

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Petitioner’s possession of three films served as the basis for a conviction of “possession of obscene matter” in contravention of Georgia state law.

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396 U.S. 119 (1969) CARLOS v. NEW YORK.     No. 524. Supreme Court of United States.    Decided December 8, 1969. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK.Herald Price Fahringer and Eugene Gressman for petitioner.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the… Read more

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397 U.S. 319 (1970) CAIN ET AL. v. KENTUCKY. No. 347. Supreme Court of United States. Decided March 23, 1970 APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF KENTUCKY. Edmund C. Grainger, Jr., and James E. Thornberry for appellants. John B. Breckinridge, Attorney General of Kentucky, and John B. Browning, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee. PER… Read more

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Appellants challenge the constitutionality of Title III of the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967, 81 Stat. 645, 39 U. S. C. § 4009 (1964 ed., Supp. IV), under which a person may require that a mailer remove his name from its mailing lists and stop all future mailings to the householder. The appellants are publishers, distributors, owners, and operators of mail order houses, mailing list brokers, and owners and operators of mail service organizations whose business activities are affected by the challenged statute.

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398 U.S. 278 (1970) BLOSS ET AL. v. DYKEMA.   No. 1347. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 1, 1970 ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MICHIGAN.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the judgment of the Michigan Court of Appeals is reversed…. Read more

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398 U.S. 434 (1970) WALKER v. OHIO. No. 1470. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 15, 1970 APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO. PER CURIAM. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio is reversed. Redrup v. New York, 386 U. S. 767 (1967). MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, dissenting. The trial court, endeavoring… Read more

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399 U.S. 524 (1970) HOYT ET AL. v. MINNESOTA.   No. 1544. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided June 29, 1970. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MINNESOTA.PER CURIAM. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted and the judgment is reversed, Redrup v. New York, 386 U…. Read more

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No. 55 (hereafter Mail Box) draws into question the constitutionality of 39 U. S. C. § 4006 (now 39 U. S. C. § 3006, Postal Reorganization Act,[†] 84 Stat. 747), under *412 which the Postmaster General, following administrative hearings, may halt use of the mails and of postal money orders for commerce in allegedly obscene materials. No. 58 (hereafter Book Bin) also draws into question the constitutionality of § 4006, and, in addition, the constitutionality of 39 U. S. C. § 4007 (now 39 U. S. C. § 3007), 84 Stat. 748, under which the Postmaster General may obtain a court order permitting him to detain the defendant's incoming mail pending the outcome of § 4006 proceedings against him.

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401 U.S. 480 (1971) GROVE PRESS, INC., ET AL. v. MARYLAND STATE BOARD OF CENSORS. No. 63. Supreme Court of United States. Argued November 10, 1970 Decided March 8, 1971 APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND. Edward de Grazia argued the cause for appellants. With him on the brief were Nathan Lewin, Arnold… Read more

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402 U.S. 363 (1971) UNITED STATES v. THIRTY-SEVEN (37) PHOTOGRAPHS (LUROS, CLAIMANT). No. 133. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 20, 1971 Decided May 3, 1971 APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA. *364 Solicitor General Griswold argued the cause for the United States. With him on the… Read more

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Section 1461 of Title 18, U. S. C., prohibits the knowing use of the mails for the delivery of obscene matter.[1] The issue presented by the jurisdictional statement in this case is whether § 1461 is constitutional as applied to the distribution of obscene materials to willing recipients who state that they are adults. The District Court held that it was not.[2] We disagree and reverse the judgment.

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405 U.S. 313 (1972) RABE v. WASHINGTON. No. 71-247. Supreme Court of United States. Argued February 29, 1972. Decided March 20, 1972. CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF WASHINGTON. William L. Dwyer argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner. Curtis Ludwig argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Herbert H…. Read more

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408 U.S. 229 (1972) KOIS v. WISCONSIN. No. 71-5625. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 26, 1972. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN. PER CURIAM. Petitioner was convicted in the state trial court of violating a Wisconsin statute prohibiting the dissemination of “lewd, obscene or indecent written matter,… Read more

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Overruled (in part)

Appellant Kirby is the director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, an administrative agency vested by the California Constitution with primary authority for the licensing of the sale of alcoholic beverages in that State, and with the authority to suspend or revoke any such license if it determines that its continuation would be contrary to public welfare or morals. Art. XX, § 22, California Constitution. Appellees include holders of various liquor licenses issued by appellant, and dancers at premises operated by such licensees. In 1970 the Department promulgated rules regulating the type of entertainment that might be presented in bars and nightclubs that it licensed. Appellees then brought this action in the United States District Court for the Central District of California under the provisions of 28 U. S. C. §§ 1331, 1343, 2201, 2202, and 42 U. S. C. § 1983. A three-judge court was convened in accordance with 28 U. S. C. §§ 2281 and 2284, and the majority of that court held that substantial portions of the regulations conflicted with the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.[1]

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A graduate student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism published the headline “Motherfucker Acquitted” and reprinted a cartoon depicting policemen raping the Statue of Liberty and Goddess of Justice with the caption “With Liberty and Justice for All” in the Free Press Underground, a newspaper that had been sold on the campus for four years. The student was found to have violated the General Standards of Student Conduct that prohibited “indecent conduct or speech.” The student was expelled. The trial court found the publication legally obscene, and so without constitutional protection, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed.

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Appellant was convicted of mailing unsolicited sexually explicit material in violation of a California statute that approximately incorporated the obscenity test formulated in Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383 U. S. 413, 383 U. S. 418 (plurality opinion). The trial court instructed the jury to evaluate the materials by the contemporary community standards of California. Appellant's conviction was affirmed on appeal. In lieu of the obscenity criteria enunciated by the Memoirs plurality, it is held: 1. Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment. Roth v. United States, 354 U. S. 476, reaffirmed. A work may be subject to state regulation where that work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex; portrays, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and, taken as a whole, does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Pp. 413 U. S. 23-24. 2. The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, Roth, supra, at 354 U. S. 489, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. If a state obscenity law is thus limited, First Amendment values are adequately protected by ultimate independent appellate review of constitutional claims when necessary. Pp. 413 U. S. 24-25. 3. The test of "utterly without redeeming social value" articulated in Memoirs, supra, is rejected as a constitutional standard. Pp. 413 U. S. 24-25. 4. The jury may measure the essentially factual issues of prurient appeal and patent offensiveness by the standard that prevails in the forum community, and need not employ a "national standard." Pp. 413 U. S. 30-34. Vacated and remanded.

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Petitioners are two Atlanta, Georgia, movie theaters and their owners and managers, operating in the *51 style of "adult" theaters. On December 28, 1970, respondents, the local state district attorney and the solicitor for the local state trial court, filed civil complaints in that court alleging that petitioners were exhibiting to the public for paid admission two allegedly obscene films, contrary to Georgia Code Ann. § 26-2101.[1] The two films in question, "Magic Mirror" and "It All Comes Out in the End," depict sexual conduct characterized *52 by the Georgia Supreme Court as "hard core pornography" leaving "little to the imagination."Respondents' complaints, made on behalf of the State of Georgia, demanded that the two films be declared obscene and that petitioners be enjoined from exhibiting the films. The exhibition of the films was not enjoined, but a temporary injunction was granted ex parte by the local trial court, restraining petitioners from destroying the films or removing them from the jurisdiction. Petitioners were further ordered to have one print each of the films in court on January 13, 1971, together with the proper viewing equipment.

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We granted certiorari to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles to review the petitioner's conviction for violation of California statutes regarding obscenity.

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We noted probable jurisdiction to review a summary decision of the United States District Court for the Central District of California holding that § 305(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, 46 Stat. 688, as amended, 19 U. S. C. § 1305 (a) was "unconstitutional on its face" and dismissing a forfeiture action brought under that statute.[1] The statute provides in pertinent part:

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Appellee Orito was charged in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with a violation of 18 U. S. C. § 1462[1] in that he did "knowingly transport and carry in interstate commerce from San Francisco . . . to Milwaukee . . . by means of a common carrier, that is, Trans-World Airlines and North Central Airlines, copies of [specified] obscene, lewd, lascivious, and filthy materials . . . ." The materials specified included some 83 reels of film, with as many as eight to 10 copies of some of the films. Appellee moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the statute violated his First and Ninth Amendment rights.[2] The District Court granted his motion, holding that the statute was unconstitutionally overbroad since it failed to distinguish between "public" and "non-public" transportation of obscene material. The District Court interpreted this Court's decisions in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479 (1965); Redrup v. New York, 386 U. S. 767 (1967); and Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557 (1969), to establish *141 the proposition that "non-public transportation" of obscene material was constitutionally protected.[3]

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413 U.S. 496 (1973) ROADEN v. KENTUCKY No. 71-1134. Supreme Court of the United States. Argued November 14, 1972. Decided June 25, 1973. CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF KENTUCKY Phillip K. Wicker argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioner. Robert v. Bullock, Assistant Attorney General of Kentucky, argued the cause for… Read more

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Petitioner was manager of a movie theater where a sexually explicit film was exhibited. After police officers saw part of the film, an assistant district attorney requested a New York Criminal Court judge to view it. Upon seeing the entire performance, the judge signed warrants for seizure of the film and for petitioner's arrest on the ground that the film was obscene. Exhibition of an obscene film violates New York Penal Law § 235.05. No pretrial motion was made for return of the single film copy seized or for its suppression as evidence. There was no showing below that the seizure prevented exhibition of the film by use of another copy, and the record does not indicate whether another copy was available. Petitioner's trial was held 47 days after his arrest and the film seizure, and he was convicted. He argued that seizure of the film without a prior adversary hearing violated the Fourteenth Amendment. He also challenged his conviction on substantive grounds, arguing that he was convicted under standards of obscenity both overbroad and unconstitutionally vague, and that films shown only to consenting adults in private are constitutionally protected. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, holding that an adversary hearing prior to seizure of the film was not required and that an ex parte warrant, issued after a judicial determination of obscenity, was constitutionally sufficient.

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413 U.S. 836 (1973) ALEXANDER ET AL. v. VIRGINIA   No. 71-1315. Supreme Court of the United States.   Argued October 19, 1972. Decided June 25, 1973. CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIAStanley M. Dietz argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioners. James E. Kulp, Assistant Attorney General of Virginia, argued the… Read more

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Appellant was convicted in Georgia of the crime of distributing obscene material. His conviction, in March 1972, was for showing the film "Carnal Knowledge" in a movie theater in Albany, Georgia. The jury that found appellant guilty was instructed on obscenity pursuant to the Georgia statute, which defines obscene material in language similar to that of the definition of obscenity set forth in this Court's plurality opinion in Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383 U. S. 413, 418 (1966):

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On March 5, 1971, a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California indicted petitioners William L. Hamling, Earl Kemp, Shirley R. Wright, David L. Thomas, Reed Enterprises, Inc., and Library Service, Inc., on 21 counts of an indictment charging use of the mails to carry an obscene book, The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, and an obscene advertisement, which gave information as to where, how, and from whom and by what means the Illustrated Report might be obtained, and of conspiracy to commit the above offenses, in violation of 18 U. S. C. §§ 2, 371, and 1461.[1] Prior to trial, petitioners moved to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that it failed to inform them of the charges, and that the grand jury had insufficient evidence before it to return an indictment and was improperly instructed on the law. Petitioners also challenged the petit jury panel and moved to strike the venire on the ground that there had been an unconstitutional exclusion of all persons under 25 years of age. The District Court denied all of these motions.

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The issue in this case is whether First Amendment rights were abridged when respondents denied petitioner the use of a municipal facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., for the showing of the controversial rock musical "Hair." It is established, of course, that the Fourteenth Amendment has made applicable to the States the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. Douglas v. City of Jeannette, 319 U. S. 157, 162 (1943).

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This case presents a challenge to the facial validity of a Jacksonville, Fla., ordinance that prohibits showing films containing nudity by a drive-in movie theater when its screen is visible from a public street or place.

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Appellant is a town attorney in Nassau County, N. Y., who, along with other local law enforcement officials, was preliminary enjoined by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from enforcing a local ordinance of the town of North Hempstead. Salem Inn, Inc. v. Frank, 364 F. Supp. 478 (1973), aff'd, 501 F. 2d 18 (CA2 1974). In addition to defending the ordinance on the merits, he contends that the complaint should have been dismissed on the authority of Younger v. Harris, 401 U. S. 37 (1971), and its companion cases.

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Petitioner was convicted of selling material which had been judicially declared obscene. At his trial he was not permitted to litigate the obscenity vel non of the publication which was the basis of his prosecution, even though he had not been a party to the earlier civil adjudication in which it was held obscene. We granted certiorari, 422 U. S. 1040 (1975), to consider whether this procedure comported with our decisions delineating the safeguards which must attend attempts by the States to prohibit dissemination of expression asserted to be protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments against such interference. We reverse.

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[*]Zoning ordinances adopted by the city of Detroit differentiate between motion picture theaters which exhibit sexually explicit "adult" movies and those which do not. The principal question presented by this case is whether that statutory classification is unconstitutional because it is based on the content of communication protected by the First Amendment.[1]Effective November 2, 1972, Detroit adopted the ordinances challenged in this litigation. Instead of concentrating "adult" theaters in limited zones, these ordinances require that such theaters be dispersed. Specifically, an adult theater may not be located within 1,000 feet of any two other "regulated uses" or within 500 feet of a residential area.[2] The term "regulated uses" includes 10 different kinds of establishments in addition to adult theaters.[3]*53 The classification of a theater as "adult" is expressly predicated on the character of the motion pictures which it exhibits. If the theater is used to present "material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to `Specified Sexual Activities' or `Specified Anatomical Areas,' "[4] it is an adult establishment.[5]*54 The 1972 ordinances were amendments to an "Anti-Skid Row Ordinance" which had been adopted 10 years earlier. At that time the Detroit Common Council made a finding that some uses of property are especially injurious to a neighborhood when they are concentrated in limited areas.[6] The decision to add adult motion picture theaters and adult book stores to the list of businesses which, apart from a special waiver,[7] could not be located within 1,000 feet of two other "regulated uses," was, in part, a response to the significant growth in the number *55 of such establishments.[8] In the opinion of urban planners and real estate experts who supported the ordinances, the location of several such businesses in the same neighborhood tends to attract an undesirable quantity and quality of transients, adversely affects property values, causes an increase in crime, especially prostitution, and encourages residents and businesses to move elsewhere.

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This case presents the question, not fully answered in Hamling v. United States, 418 U. S. 87 (1974), whether the *189 standards announced in Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), are to be applied retroactively to the potential detriment of a defendant in a criminal case. We granted certiorari, 424 U. S. 942 (1976), to resolve a conflict in the Circuits.[1]

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In Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), this Court rejected a plea for a uniform national standard as to what *293 appeals to the prurient interest and as to what is patently offensive; the Court held, instead, that these essentially were questions of fact to be measured by contemporary standards of the community. Id., at 30-34. The instant case presents the issue of the constitutional effect of state law that leaves unregulated the distribution of obscene material to adults, on the determination of contemporary community standards in a prosecution under 18 U. S. C. § 1461 for a mailing that is wholly intrastate. The case also raises the question whether § 1461 is unconstitutionally vague as applied in these circumstances, and the question whether the trial court, during the voir dire of prospective jurors, correctly refused to ask proffered questions relating to community standards.

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Petitioner Splawn was convicted in 1971 of the sale of two reels of obscene film, a misdemeanor violation of California Penal Code § 311.2 (West 1970). After the conviction was affirmed on appeal by the California First District Court of Appeal and the State Supreme Court denied review, this Court granted certiorari, vacated the judgment, and remanded for consideration in light of our decision in Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), which had set forth the standards by *597 which the constitutionality of § 311.2 was to be determined. After the State Supreme Court ruled that the statute satisfied the requirements articulated in Miller, see Bloom v. Municipal Court, 16 Cal. 3d 71, 545 P. 2d 229 (1976), the Court of Appeal again affirmed the conviction and the California Supreme Court denied petitioner's motion for a hearing.

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The principal issue in this case is the validity of the Illinois obscenity statute, considered in light of Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973). There we reaffirmed numerous prior decisions declaring that "obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment," id., at 23; but acknowledging "the inherent dangers of undertaking to regulate any form of expression," ibid., we recognized that official regulation must be limited to "works which depict or describe sexual conduct" and that such conduct "must be specifically defined by the applicable state law, as written or authoritatively construed." Id., at 24. Basic guidelines for the trier of fact, along with more specific suggestions, were then offered:

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We granted certiorari in this case to decide whether the court's instructions in a trial for mailing obscene materials prior to 1973, and therefore tried under the Roth-Memoirs standards, could properly include children and sensitive persons within the definition of the community by whose standards obscenity is to be judged. We are also asked to determine whether the evidence supported a charge that members of deviant sexual groups may be considered in determining whether the materials appealed to prurient interest in sex; whether a charge of pandering was proper in light of the evidence; and whether comparison evidence proffered by petitioner should have been admitted on the issue of contemporary community standards.

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A New York radio station aired George Carlin’s monologue, “Filthy Words.” Carlin spoke of the words that could not be said on the public airwaves. Although the station warned listeners before its broadcast that the monologue included “sensitive language which might be regarded as offensive to some,” the FCC censured the station for violating FCC regulations which prohibited broadcasting indecent material.

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445 U.S. 308 (1980) VANCE ET AL. v. UNIVERSAL AMUSEMENT CO., INC., ET AL.   No. 78-1588. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued November 28, 1979. Decided March 18, 1980. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT.Lonny F. Zwiener, Assistant Attorney General of Texas, argued the cause for appellants…. Read more

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In a prosecution charging petitioners with disseminating obscenity in violation of Ohio law, the trial court granted their motions to dismiss the complaints on the ground that they had been subjected to selective and discriminatory prosecution in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Ohio Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for trial, finding the evidence insufficient to support the allegations of discriminatory prosecution. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed.

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In 1973, appellants began operating an adult bookstore in the commercial zone in the Borough of Mount Ephraim in Camden County, N. J. The store sold adult books, magazines, and films. Amusement licenses shortly issued permitting the store to install coin-operated devices by virtue of which a customer could sit in a booth, insert a coin, and watch an adult film. In 1976, the store introduced an additional coin-operated mechanism permitting the customer to watch a live dancer, usually nude, performing behind a glass panel. *63 Complaints were soon filed against appellants charging that the bookstore's exhibition of live dancing violated § 99-15B of Mount Ephraim's zoning ordinance, which described the permitted uses in a commercial zone,[1] in which the store was located, as follows:

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Overruled (in part)

452 U.S. 714 (1981) NEW YORK STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY v. BELLANCA, DBA THE MAIN EVENT, ET AL. No. 80-813. Supreme Court of United States. Decided June 22, 1981. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK. PER CURIAM. The question presented in this case is the power of a… Read more

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454 U.S. 90 (1981) CALIFORNIA EX REL. COOPER, CITY ATTORNEY OF SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA v. MITCHELL BROTHERS’ SANTA ANA THEATER ET AL.   No. 81-271. Supreme Court of United States.   Decided November 30, 1981 ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICTPER CURIAM. The petition for… Read more

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The owner of a bookstore in Manhattan was convicted of promoting a sexual performance of a child by selling two sexually explicit films involving young boys to undercover police officers. New York argued this was in violation of a state criminal statute that prohibits knowingly promoting sexual performances by children under 16 by distributing material which depicts such performances. It also prohibits such materials that are produced out of state.

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The question in these cases is whether the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit erred in invalidating in its entirety a Washington statute aimed at preventing and punishing the publication of obscene materials.

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This case involves a constitutional challenge to a zoning ordinance, enacted by appellant city of Renton, Washington, that prohibits adult motion picture theaters from locating within 1,000 feet of any residential zone, single- or multiple-family dwelling, church, park, or school. Appellees, Playtime Theatres, Inc., and Sea-First Properties, Inc., filed an action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington seeking a declaratory judgment that the Renton ordinance violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments and a permanent injunction against its enforcement. The District Court ruled in favor of Renton and denied the permanent injunction, but the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for reconsideration. 748 F. 2d 527 (1984). We noted probable jurisdiction, 471 U. S. 1013 (1985), and now reverse the judgment of the Ninth Circuit.[1]*44 In May 1980, the Mayor of Renton, a city of approximately 32,000 people located just south of Seattle, suggested to the Renton City Council that it consider the advisability of enacting zoning legislation dealing with adult entertainment uses. No such uses existed in the city at that time. Upon the Mayor's suggestion, the City Council referred the matter to the city's Planning and Development Committee. The Committee held public hearings, reviewed the experiences of Seattle and other cities, and received a report from the City Attorney's Office advising as to developments in other cities. The City Council, meanwhile, adopted Resolution No. 2368, which imposed a moratorium on the licensing of "any business. . . which . . . has as its primary purpose the selling, renting or showing of sexually explicit materials." App. 43. The resolution contained a clause explaining that such businesses "would have a severe impact upon surrounding businesses and residences." Id., at 42.

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This case concerns the proper standard for issuance of a warrant authorizing the seizure of materials presumptively protected by the First Amendment. Respondents P. J. Video, Inc., and James Erhardt were charged in the village of Depew, New York, Justice Court with six counts of obscenity in the third degree under § 235.05(1) of the New York Penal Law.[1] Respondents moved to suppress five videocassette movies that had been seized from respondents' store, and that formed the basis for the obscenity charges *870 against respondents, on the ground that the warrant authorizing the seizure was issued without probable cause to believe that the movies were obscene. The Justice Court granted the motion and dismissed the informations under which respondents were charged, and both the County Court of Erie County and the New York Court of Appeals affirmed. 65 N. Y. 2d 566, 483 N. E. 2d 1120 (1985). We granted certiorari to resolve the conflict between the decision of the New York Court of Appeals in the instant case and the decisions in Sequoia Books, Inc. v. McDonald, 725 F. 2d 1091 (CA7 1984), and United States v. Pryba, 163 U. S. App. D. C. 389, 502 F. 2d 391 (1974), cert. denied, 419 U. S. 1127 (1975). 474 U. S. 918 (1985). We now reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

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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.

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A public high school student delivered a speech at a school assembly nominating another student for a student office. During the speech, he referred to his candidate using a graphic and explicit sexual metaphor. The auditorium contained approximately 600 students, including 14-year-old students. Some of the students enjoyed the speech, while others appeared embarrassed. Prior to the assembly, several teachers warned the student against giving the speech because of the inappropriate content.

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Overruled (in part)

479 U.S. 92 (1986) CITY OF NEWPORT, KENTUCKY, ET AL. v. IACOBUCCI, DBA TALK OF THE TOWN, ET AL. No. 86-139. Supreme Court of United States. Decided November 17, 1986 ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT PER CURIAM. In 1982, the City Commission of… Read more

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In Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), the Court set out a tripartite test for judging whether material is obscene. The third prong of the Miller test requires the trier of fact to determine "whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." Id., at 24. The issue in this case is whether, in a prosecution for *499 the sale of allegedly obscene materials, the jury may be instructed to apply community standards in deciding the value question.

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[††]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.

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491 U.S. 576 (1989) MASSACHUSETTS v. OAKES No. 87-1651. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 17, 1989 Decided June 21, 1989 CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS *578 James M. Shannon, Attorney General of Massachusetts, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Phyllis N. Segal and A. John… Read more

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The issue before us is the constitutionality of § 223(b) of the Communications Act of 1934. 47 U. S. C. § 223(b) (1982 ed., Supp. V). The statute, as amended in 1988, imposes an outright ban on indecent as well as obscene interstate commercial telephone messages. The District Court upheld the prohibition against obscene interstate telephone communications for commercial purposes, but enjoined the enforcement of the statute insofar as it applied to indecent messages. We affirm the District Court in both respects.

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493 U.S. 215 (1990) FW/PBS, INC., DBA PARIS ADULT BOOKSTORE II, ET AL. v. CITY OF DALLAS ET AL.     No. 87-2012. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued October 4, 1989 Decided January 9, 1990[*] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT*219 John H. Weston argued the cause… Read more

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In order to combat child pornography, Ohio enacted Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.323(A)(3) (Supp. 1989), which provides in pertinent part:

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An Indiana public indecency statute prohibits, among other things, appearing nude in public. Two adult entertainment establishments and an erotic dancer sued to prevent enforcement of this statute as it applied to nude dancing. The trial court eventually held that nude dancing is not expressive activity protected by the First Amendment and upheld the statute. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that non-obscene nude dancing is entitled to First Amendment protection. When speech and non-speech elements are combined in the same course of conduct (such as burning a draft card), the government can regulate that conduct if (1) the regulation is within the constitutional power of the government, (2) the regulation furthers a substantial governmental interest, (3) the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression, and (4) the incidental restriction on the speech element of the conduct is not greater than necessary to further the substantial governmental interest. United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).

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After a full criminal trial, petitioner Ferris J. Alexander, owner of more than a dozen stores and theaters dealing in sexually explicit materials, was convicted on, inter alia, 17 obscenity counts and 3 counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The obscenity convictions, based on the jury's findings that four magazines and three videotapes sold at several of petitioner's stores were obscene, served as the predicates for his three RICO convictions. In addition to imposing a prison term and fine, the District Court ordered petitioner to forfeit, pursuant to 18 U. S. C. § 1963 (1988 ed. and Supp. III), certain assets that were directly related to his racketeering activity as punishment for his RICO violations. Petitioner argues that this forfeiture violated the First and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution. We reject petitioner's *547 claims under the First Amendment but remand for reconsideration of his Eighth Amendment challenge.

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The Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1977, as amended, prohibits the interstate transportation, *66 shipping, receipt, distribution, or reproduction of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. 18 U. S. C. § 2252. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the conviction of respondents for violation of this Act. It held that the Act did not require that the defendant know that one of the performers was a minor, and that it was therefore facially unconstitutional. We conclude that the Act is properly read to include such a requirement.

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The Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA"), 47 U.S.C. § 223, prohibits the transmission of indecent and patently offensive materials to minors over the Internet. A number of civil rights and computer groups challenged the constitutionality of these provisions on First Amendment grounds. In essence, these groups argued that the inability of Internet users and providers to verify the age of information recipients effectively prevented them from engaging in indecent speech, which traditionally has received significant First Amendment protection. After a lengthy evidentiary hearing that included many online demonstrations, a special three-judge district court (which was created by the CDA to hear the expected constitutional challenges) agreed with the groups and ruled that the provisions violated the First Amendment. Indecent speech, unlike obscenity, is entitled to constitutional protection because it often has substantial social value and lacks prurient interest. Sable Communications v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989). This speech therefore cannot be regulated unless the restrictions are justified by a compelling governmental interest and are narrowly tailored to advance that interest. Turner Broadcasting System v. FCC, 114 S. Ct. 2445 (1994). The Court already has held that the government has a compelling interest in protecting minors from indecent speech. Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). The Court also has held that the government may prohibit dissemination of indecent materials to minors as long it does not at the same time prohibit dissemination to adults. FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).

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In 1994, the Erie City Council enacted a public indecency ordinance that purports to criminalize public nudity. However, statements by several council members indicate the real intent of the law was to target nude dancing at adult entertainment businesses. PAP's A.M., the owner of an adult business called Kandyland, challenged the law in state court under the First Amendment and the free-speech provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution. After a trial judge granted a permanent injunction against the ordinance, the city appealed. In 1996, the intermediate state appeals court, called the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, reversed, finding the law constitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court case Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., which upheld a similar Indiana public indecency law. In 1998, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court, finding the law unconstitutional. The state supreme court said that it could find "no clear precedent" from the fragmented Barnes decision. The city contends the state supreme court erred in failing to apply the result of Barnes. Nude dancing is a form of expressive conduct that merits at least some degree of First Amendment protection. Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc.,501 U.S. 560 (1991). Laws that are not designed to suppress freedom of expression but to target harmful secondary effects associated with certain expression are to be considered content-neutral for purposes of First Amendment review. Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc., 427 U.S. 50 (1976); Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986).

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Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires cable television operators to "fully scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio portion" of channels that provide primarily "sexually explicit adult programming." The act provides that cable operators can comply with _ 505 by showing the "indecent" or "sexually explicit adult programming" only during so-called safe-harbor hours, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when children are not likely to view the programming. In 1996, Playboy Entertainment Group filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware seeking to prohibit the enforcement of Section 505. After the three-judge panel denied Playboy's motion for a preliminary injunction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 refused to review the denial of the preliminary injunction. On Dec. 28, 1998, the district court ruled that _ 505 violated the First Amendment. The court ruled the law was content-based because it restricted only sexually explicit adult programming. The government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Indecent speech, unlike obscene speech, is entitled to First Amendment protection. Government officials cannot suppress the free-speech rights of adults in order to protect minors from objectionable material unless the law is very narrowly drafted. Content-based laws are presumptively unconstitutional and the government bears the burden of showing that the law advances a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way.

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The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 prohibited “any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture” that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” This includes visuals that seem to depict children but are virtually constructed or use adult actors. The statute was successfully challenged for being overbroad and vague by The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry.

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In 1977, soon after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc., 427 U.S. 50 (1976), the city of Los Angeles' planning commission studies the effects of adult businesses on the city. The study concludes that a proliferation of adult businesses leads to an increase in crime and a decrease in surrounding property values. Based on this study, the city council passes a zoning law that prohibits adult businesses from locating within 1,000 feet of another adult business or 500 feet within a church, school, or public park. Then, in 1983, the city passes an ordinance banning so-called multiple use adult businesses, such as businesses that operate as both adult bookstores and adult arcades. Many years later, two adult businesses Alameda Books and Highland Books that operate as both bookstores and arcades sue in federal court, contending that the 1983 law is unconstitutional. In 1998, a federal district court eventually sides with the adult businesses and prevents the city from enforcing the law. In 2000, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision. The 9th Circuit reasons that the city did not have sufficient evidence that multiple-use adult businesses caused harmful, secondary effects. The panel writes: "The study did not identify any harmful secondary effects resulting from bookstore/arcade combinations as individual business units." The city appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, which grants review on March 5, 2001.

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In Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, this Court found that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA)-Congress' first attempt to protect children from exposure to pornographic material on the Internet-ran afoul of the First Amendment in its regulation of indecent transmissions and the display of patently offensive material. That conclusion was based, in part, on the crucial consideration that the CDA's breadth was wholly unprecedented. After the Court's decision in Reno, Congress attempted to address this concern in the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). Unlike the CDA, COPA applies only to material displayed on the World Wide Web, covers only communications made for commercial purposes, and restricts only "material that is harmful to minors," 47 U. S. C. § 231(a)(I). In defining "material that is harmful to minors," COPA draws on the three-part obscenity test set forth in Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15, see § 231(e)(6), and thus requires jurors to apply "contemporary community standards" in assessing material, see §231(e)(6)(A). Respondents-who post or have members that post sexually oriented material on the Web-filed a facial challenge before COPA went into effect, claiming, inter alia, that the statute violated adults' First Amendment rights because it effectively banned constitutionally protected speech, was not the least restrictive means of accomplishing a compelling governmental purpose, and was substantially overbroad. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of COPA because it concluded that the statute was unlikely to survive strict scrutiny. The Third Circuit affirmed but based its decision on a ground not relied upon by the District Court: that COPA's use of "contemporary community standards," § 231(e)(6)(A), to identify material that is harmful to minors rendered the statute substantially overbroad.

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539 U.S. 194 (2003) UNITED STATES et al. v. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, INC., et al.         No. 02-361. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued March 5, 2003. Decided June 23, 2003. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA*195 *196 *197 REHNQUIST, C. J., announced the… Read more

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In this case we examine a city's "adult business" licensing ordinance to determine whether it meets the First Amendment's requirement that such a licensing scheme assure prompt judicial review of an administrative decision denying a license. See FW/PBS, Inc. v. Dallas, 493 U. S. 215 (1990); cf. Freedman v. Maryland, 380 U. S. 51 (1965). We conclude that the ordinance before us, considered on its face, is consistent with the First Amendment's demands.

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This case presents a challenge to a statute enacted by Congress to protect minors from exposure to sexually explicit materials on the Internet, the Child Online Protection Act *660 (COPA), 112 Stat. 2681-736, codified at 47 U. S. C. § 231. We must decide whether the Court of Appeals was correct to affirm a ruling by the District Court that enforcement of COPA should be enjoined because the statute likely violates the First Amendment.

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In 2004, a special agent entered an internet chat room to combat online child exploitation. The agent, under an alias, engaged in a private chat with Michael Williams and exchanged photos with him. Williams shared a hyperlink with the agent that contained several images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Williams was arrested and charged with violations of the PROTECT Act, including the pandering of “material or purported material in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe” that the material is illegal child pornography. Williams filed a motion to dismiss the charges as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. The Eleventh Circuit agreed with Williams and struck down the pandering portion of the PROTECT Act as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague.

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Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

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