Manual Enterprises, Inc. v. Day, Postmaster General
United States Supreme Court
370 U.S. 478 (1962)
Manual Enterprises, Inc. (plaintiff) published three different magazines consisting mostly of photographs of nude male models. The magazines also provided the models’ names and the photographers’ contact information. Some of these photographers had been arrested and were being prosecuted for sending their own obscene material through the mail. In March 1960, parcels containing copies of the magazines were confiscated by the Alexandria postmaster, pending a determination from superiors at the United States Post Office as to whether the magazines were nonmailable under federal law. The Comstock Act (the act) made it illegal to send obscene, lewd, immoral, indecent, or vile material through the mail. The act also prohibited the advertisement of obscene material. The Post Office Department determined that the publications contained obscene material and barred their shipment. Manual Enterprises filed suit against the United States postmaster general (defendant), contending that the Post Office Department wrongfully interpreted the act and denied shipment of its publications. The Post Office Department argued that its decision was supported by the act’s ban on advertising and dissemination of obscene material. Both the district court and court of appeals sided with the Post Office Department. Manual Enterprises appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)
Concurrence (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Clark, J.)
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