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First Amendment Library:
Herman Schwartz


These cases are here on cross-appeals from the judgment of a three-judge District Court in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs in the District Court were four California prison inmates—Booker T. Hillery, Jr., John Larry Spain, Bobby Bly, and Michael Shane Guile—and three professional journalists—Eve Pell, Betty Segal, and Paul Jacobs. The defendants were Raymond K. Procunier, Director of the California Department of Corrections, and several subordinate officers in that department. The plaintiffs brought the suit to challenge the constitutionality, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, of § 415.071 of the California Department of Corrections Manual, which provides that "[p]ress and other media interviews with specific individual inmates will not be permitted." They sought both injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U. S. C. § 1983. Section 415.071 was promulgated by defendant Procunier under authority vested in him by § 5058 of the California Penal Code and is applied uniformly throughout the State's penal system to prohibit face-to-face interviews between press representatives and individual inmates whom they specifically name and request to interview. *820 In accordance with 28 U. S. C. §§ 2281 and 2284, a three-judge court was convened to hear the case.[1]