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Roth v. United States
United States Supreme Court
354 U.S. 476 (1957)
Roth (defendant) operated a book-selling business in New York and was prosecuted for violating a federal obscenity statute that prohibited the mailing of “every obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy book, pamphlet, picture, paper, letter, writing, print, or other publication of an indecent character.” Roth challenged his conviction on the grounds that the federal statute violated the First Amendment, but the appellate court affirmed the conviction. Alberts (defendant) conducted a mail-order business and was convicted under a California obscenity statute for “lewdly keeping for sale obscene and indecent books” and “publishing an obscene advertisement of them.” Alberts challenged his conviction on the ground that the state statute violated the First Amendment’s protections of speech and press, but the appellate court affirmed the conviction. The United States Supreme Court considered the cases.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Douglas, J.)
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