In 2021, almost 1,500 people submitted cases to FIRE when their rights were in jeopardy.

Hear their stories — and how we're fighting back — by subscribing today.

First Amendment Library:
W. Eric Collins

Overruled (in part)

This case concerns the constitutionality of certain regulations promulgated by appellant Procunier in his capacity as Director of the California Department of Corrections. Appellees brought a class action on behalf of themselves and all other inmates of penal institutions under the Department's jurisdiction to challenge the rules relating to censorship of prisoner mail and the ban against the use of law students and legal paraprofessionals to conduct attorney-client interviews with inmates. Pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2281 a three-judge United States District Court was convened to hear appellees' request for declaratory and injunctive relief. That court entered summary judgment enjoining continued enforcement of the rules in question and ordering appellants to submit new regulations for the court's approval. 354 F. Supp. 1092 (ND Cal. 1973). Appellants' first revisions resulted in counterproposals by appellees and a court order issued May 30, 1973, requiring further modification of the proposed rules. The second set of revised regulations was approved by the District Court on July 20, 1973, over appellees' objections. While the first proposed revisions of the Department's regulations were pending before the District Court, appellants brought this appeal to contest that court's decision holding the original regulations unconstitutional.


Respondents, a student newspaper that had published articles and photographs of a clash between demonstrators and police at a hospital, and staff members, brought an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against, among others, Petitioners, law enforcement and district attorney personnel, claiming that a search pursuant to a warrant issued on a judge's finding of probable cause that the newspaper (which was not involved in the unlawful acts) possessed photographs and negatives revealing the identities of demonstrators who had assaulted police officers at the hospital had deprived respondents of their constitutional rights.