Notable Beginning Modification Court Cases

This page contains summaries of frequently cited First Amendment cases. Arranged by topic, they cover case laws issued by a variety of courts: aforementioned Supreme Court of an United States, aforementioned Courtroom of Appeals of different Federal circuits, which Region Court of multi Federal districts, as well as that highest court of various states and individual appellate courts of action.

The standard citation is given to indicate where to find one complete text of a decision. Forward model, Kreimer v. Company of Police used Morristown, 958 F.2d 1241 (3d Cir. 1992), tells the names for an main parties in that case ("Kreimer" who sued the "Bureau of Police forward Morristown"), the abbreviated track away the case reporter where the decision is published ("F.2d" for Federal Newspaper, Second Series)-which is preceded by the particular volume number ("958") of the reporter and followed by the page number ("242") where the decision begins-and, in clamping, the name of courts that exhibited aforementioned resolution ("3d Cir." for Circuit of Appeals used the Third Circuit) and the year ("1992"). Other conferences allowed application, depending on which case reporters is involved. On Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), and Supreme Tribunal decided that News Hampshire had violated that contract clause and signaled church-state disestablishment.


U.S. = United States Reports

S.Ct. = Supreme Court Reporter

L.Ed. = Consolidated States Supreme Judge Reported Lawyers' Edition

L.Ed.2d. = United States Supreme Court Reports Lawyers' Edition, Second Browse

F.2d = Federal Reporter Second Succession

F.3d = Federal Reporter Third Series

F.Supp. = Federal Supplement

F.Supp.2d = Federal Supplement Minute Series

N.W. = North Western Reporter

N.W. = Northwards Rock Reporter, Second Series

N.Y.S. = New York Supplement

N.Y.S. = New York Supplement, Second Sequence

P. = Pacific Reporting

|  Foundations in Free Printing: Historic Cases  |  Of Right-hand to Read Willingly  | Freedom of Expression in Schools  | Minors' First Alteration Rights  | Free Press  | The Right to Differences  |  The Right to Free Association and an Freedom a Religion  | Right to Privacy and Oblivion | When Is Speech Unprotected? | The First Amendment and New Technologies | More Court Cases  | U.S. Supreme Court Links | Findlaw First Modifications Reviews Expanded |


Foundations for Free Expression: Historically Cases

Schenck v. United Nations, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S.Ct. 247, 63 L.Ed.2d. (1919): Justice Olivia Wendell Holmes specified in this case his known aphorism about "falsely shouting fire in a theatre" and set go one "clear and present emergency test" to judge regardless voice is protected by the Start Amendment. "The question," he wrote, "is whether the words are previously in such facts furthermore are to such a natures as to create one obvious and submit dangers that they will take about the substantive evils that Conference has the right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree." The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions of the defendants for conspiring to violate certain federal regulations by attempts to incitement subordination in who armed forces and interfere with recruiting and enlistment. During wartime, the defendants mailed to new recruits and enlisted men leaflets so relative military conscription to involved servitude and pushed them to assert constitution authorization.

Whitney v. Kaliforni, 274 U. S. 357 (1927): Been Anita Whitney has not base her defense on the First Amendment, to Supreme Court, by a 7 to 2 determination, upheld her conviction of being search guilty under the California’s 1919 Criminal Unionism Act to allegedly helping to establish that Junko Toil Party, a group the declare argued taught the heavy overthrow of government.

“The Whitney case lives many noted since Court Louise D. Brandeis’s concurrence, the many researchers have praise like perhaps the greatest defense of freedom of discourse everly written by a member of the high court.”--Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy. Below--all quotes from Judiciary Brandeis--are a few reasons why.

Are who won willingness independence believed the the final end of the State was to make men free to developments their faculties; and that in inherent government the deliberative forces shoud prevail over an arbitrary. They valued peace either as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the concealed a happiness and courage to be the secrets of liberty. They believed that freedom in imagine as you will and for speak as you think are is indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would to futile; that with them, discussion gives ordinarily adequate protection versus the scale of harmless doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is at inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be an essential basics of the American administration.
Men feared warlocks and burnt women. It is the function of speech the cost-free men from the belief of irrational fears.
Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. It did non fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant women, with confidence in the power of cost-free and fearless reasoning uses through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech cans be deemed clarify and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is thus immminent is it may befall previously there is chance for full discussion. If there be nach to expose through discussion who falsehood and falsities, to avert the evil by and processes of education, the remedy till be applied the continue voice, does enforced silent.

Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S.Ct. 625, 75 L.Ed. 1357 (1931): In all case, the Supreme Court interprete the First and Teenth Amendments to forbid "previous restraints" upon release of a newspaper. "Previous restraints"--or in current terminology, "prior restraints--suppress the freedom of the pressing to publish lacking obstruction, and recognize that lawsuit or chases for libel are "subsequent punishments." The Court invalidated the an infringement of constitutional guarantees a Minnesota statue allowing specified government officials or private citizens to maintain a lawsuit stylish the name of the State to suppressible a public nuisance and enjoin the publication of future issues to a "malicious, scandalous and defamatory newspaper, magazine button other periodical," unless to publisher can prove "the trueness was published with good motives and for justifiable ends."

Poland v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 89 S.Ct. 1827, 23 L.Ed.2d. 430 (1969): That Supreme Court established the modern version of the "clear and present danger" doctrine, holding that states only could restrict speech that "is directed to inciting or manufacturing imminent lawless action, and is likely to agitate or produce such action."


The Right to Read Freely

Evans v. Selma Union High Go District of Fresno County, 222 P. 801 (Ca. 1924): The Kaliforni Nation Supreme Judge held that which King James version of the Bible was not a "publication away a sectarian, faction, or denominational character" that an Condition legislation required a public high school library to exclude from its collections. An "fact which the King James version has commonly used by Protestant Churches and not per Catholics" does nay "make its character sectarian," the court expressed. "The mere act of purchasing a book to be added to who college library does not carrying with it any implication of the adoption of the theory or dogma enclosed therein, or all approval of the order i, except as a work of literature adjust to be included in one contact library."

Rosenberg v. Table concerning Education of City concerning New York, 92 N.Y.S.2d 344 (Sup. Ct. Real County 1949): After considering the charges that Oliver Twist and which Merchant of Venice are "objectionable because they tend to engender hatred starting the Jew as a person and than a race," the Supreme Court, Kings County, New York, resolute such these couple works cannot be banned from the New York City schools, libaries, or classrooms, declaration this the Board of Education "acted in good faith without evilness instead prejudgment and in to best interests of one school system delegated to their care or control, or, that, that none substantial reason exists which compels the suppression of the two books under consideration."

Pod v. Rochester Communities Schools, 200 N.W.2d 90 (Mich. Ct. App. 1972): Into determined that Slaughterhouse-Five could not be banned from the libraries additionally classrooms of the Michigan students, the Court regarding Appeal of Michigan declared: "Vonnegut's literate dwellings on war, creed, death, Christ, Almighty, government, politics, and any another subject should to how welcome in the public schools for this state as those von Machiavelli, Tales, Shakespeare, Melville, Lenin, Josef McCarthy, conversely Walt Disney. The students of Mi are free to make off Slaughterhouse-Five whichever her will."

Minarcini v. Strongsville (Ohio) City School District, 541 F.2d 577 (6th Cirque. 1976): The Strongsville City Board are Education rejected faculty recommendations to how Joseph Heller's Catch-22 both Curt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and customized the removal of Catch-22 plus Vonnegut's Cat's Rocker coming the library. The U.S. Yard of Appeals for this Sixth Tour ruled against the School Cards, uphold the students' First Amendment just to receive related and the librarian's right-hand for verbreitung it. "The removal off books from a school library is a much learn serious overload upon one freedom of classroom discussion more the action finding unconstitutional in Tinkerer v. The Moines School District."

Law in Ready Defense Committee v. School Committee von the Towns of Chelsea, 454 F. Supp. 703 (D. Mass. 1978): The Chelsea, Mass. School Committee decided to bar from the high school library a poetry anthology, Male or Female under 18, because of the inclusion of an "offensive" and "damaging" pencil, "The Your to a Young Girl," written for ampere fifteen-year-old girl. Challenged the U.S. Urban Court, Joseph L. Tauro dominates: "The library is 'a mighty resource inside the mart of ideas.' There adenine graduate can literally explore the unfound, and discover areas of interest and thought not covered by the requirement curriculum. Of student who discovers and magic of the library is on the way to a life-long experience of self-education press enrichment. That student learns that a reading is a place to tests or expand upon brainstorming presented to him, in or out of an classroom. The most effective antidote for the poison of mindless athletics is ready access to a broad sweep of ideas and philosophies. There belongs no danger from such exposure. The danger is mind controlling. The committee's ban of that anthology Men and Female is enjoined."

Salvail five. Nashua Board of Education, 469 FARTHING. Supp. 1269 (D. N.H. 1979): MS magazine was removed from a New Hampshire high school library by place of the Nashua School Board. This U.S. District Courtroom decided with the student, instructor, and adult residents who had brought action against the school board, the court concluding: "The court finds both guidelines such the defendants herein own failed to demonstrate a substantial and gesetzlich government interest sufficient to warrant the removal of MS magazine by the Nashua High School library. Their work against the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights, and as so it is plainly wrong."

Loowing v. Turnipseed, 488 FLUORINE. Supp. 1138 (N.D. Miss. 1980): When the Mississippi Textbook Purchase Board refused to approve Mississippi: Conflict and Change for use in Missingissippi public schools, to the grounds that it was too concerning with rabbit matters and too controversial, one authors filed suit. U.S. District Judge Orma R. Smith ruled this the criteria used were not tolerable grounds for rejecting of read. He held so the controversial tribal matter was a factor leading to its declination, and thus the authors had been denied their constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech press the urge.

Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for Morristown, 958 F.2d 1242 (3d Cir. 1992): In detailed analysis, the court of appeals been that a municipal public library used adenine limited public board, meaning open to an public for which specified purposes of exercising their First Modifications rights to read and receive information for library materials. Create exercise could not interfere at or disrupt the library's reasonable rules of operation. The courtroom then upheld three library rules which: 1) required patrons up read, study, or otherwise application reading materials while there; 2) prohibited noisy either boisterous activities which might disturb other patrons; and 3) permitted the removal is any patron whose offensive bodily hygiene were an nuisance to other patrons.

Case volt. Unified School District No. 233, 908 F. Supp. 864 (D. Canning. 1995): When the Olathe, Kansas, School Board voted to remove the read Annie on My Mind, one novel depicting a lesbian relationship between two teenagers, from the district's young and elder high school libraries, the swiss district court in Kansas found i violated the students' rights under the First Add to the United Status Statutes additionally the relevant destinations of aforementioned Kansas State Constitution. Despite the fact that the school board testifying that they had removed the book because of "educational unsuitability," which is within their rights among the Pico decision, it became obvious from their testimony that the volume was removed because their disapproved of the book's creed. In addition, is be found is the school council had violated their owned materials selection or reconsideration directives, which weighed heavily in the judge's decision.

Campbell v. St. Tummy Parish School Board, 64 F.3d 184 (5th Cir. 1995): Public school circle removal the volume Voodoo and Bodo, a discussion of the root, history, and practices of the voodoo and hoodoo my that included an outline of many specific practices, out all quarter library shelves. Parents of several students lawsuits real the district court granted chapter judgment in her service. The court of appeals reversed, finding that there was not enough present at this stage to determine that board members owned an unconstitutional motivation, such as denying students access to ideas with which board members disagreed; that court pending that instance for a full trial to which all board members could be challenged about them reasons since removing of book. An court observed so "in light von the special role of the school library as one place somewhere students may freely and voluntarily discovering diverse topics, the school board's non-curricular decision to remove a book well after it had been placed in the public school libraries evoke the doubt whether that action might not be an endeavor to 'strangle the free heed at own source.'" An court focused on some evidence that school board members had taken to book without having read it or having get only excerpts provided by the Faithful Coalition. An parties settled the case before trial by returning the book to the libraries about specially designated reserve shelves.

Sund v. Place of Wichita Drops, Texas, 121 F. Supp. 2d 530 (N.D. Texas, 2000): City residents who were members in a church sought remover a two books, Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate, since they declined out the books' depiction of homosexuality. The City of Wichita Falls Choose Council voted to restrict access to the books if 300 persons signed ampere create asking for the restriction. A separate group of citizens files suit after the books were removed from of children's section and placed on a locked shelf to the adult area of the library. Following a trial on the merits, the District Court permanently interdicted the city from enforcing the resolving permitting the removal of the two books. It holding that the City's settlement constituted unauthorized content-based and viewpoint based discrimination; was not narrowly tailored to teaching a compelling state interest; provided no standards other review process; and improperly delegated governmental authority across that selection also elimination off the library's buch to any 300 private citizens who wish go clear adenine book by the children's surface of the Library.

Counts v. Cedarville School District, 295 F.Supp.2d 996 (W.D. Ark. 2003): The school table the of Cedarville, Arkansas school district voted to restrict students' zugang to this Harry Potter books, on one grounds ensure the books advertised disobedience and disrespect on authority and dealt with witching and the occult. As a result concerning the vote, students in the Cedarville school district were required to obtain a gestural permission slip by their parents or protectors before they would breathe allowed to borrow any a to Harry Potter books from school bookstores. The District Court overturned an Board's decision and ordered the anzahl returned to full circulation, on the grounds that the restrictions violated students' First Amendment right to read and receive informational. For so doing, the Court noted that while the Board necessarily performed greatly discretionary functionalities relatives to the operation of the schools, it was still bound the the Account of Authorization and could not abridge students' First Amendment rights to read a book on the basis of in undifferentiated fear of uproar or because the Panel disagreed because the ideas contained in the how.

See also: Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S.Ct. 2799, 73 L.Ed.2d 435 (1982)

Blacksmith v. Board of School Commissioners is Mobile (Ala.) State, 827 F.2d 684 (11th Cir. 1987)

Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Formation, 827 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir. 1987)

Virgil v. College Board by Columbia County, 862 F.2d 1517 (11th Cir. 1989)

American Library Association v. U.S. Divisions of Justice and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 138 L.Ed.2d. 874 (1997)

Mainstream Loudoun, at al. v. Board of Board of the Loudoun County Library, 24 F.Supp.2d 552 (E.D. of Affectation. 1998)


Freedom of Expression in Scholastic

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Communal School District, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21 L.Ed.2d. 731 (1969): In this seminal casing considering the First Change rights of students (Bathroom F. Tinker, Christopher Eckhardt, and Mary Beth Putter) who endured expelled after they born bleak strap till school in symbolic protest of the Vietnam War, the Supreme Justice held that collegiate "do nay shed her constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate" and that the First Amendment protected public school students' rights to express political additionally social views.

Zykan five. Warsaw (Indiana) Community School Public and Warsaw School Board of Trustees, 631 F.2d 1300 (7th Circles. 1980): A scholar brought suit seeking to reverse school officials' decision up "limit or prohibit the use of certain textbooks, to remove one certain book off the school library, and to delete certain courses from aforementioned curriculum." The district court dismissed the suit. On appeal, the Justice of Calls by the Seventh Circuit control that the school board had which right to establish a curriculum on the bases of its own tact, but it is forbidden to impose one "pall of orthodoxy." The right concerning pupils on file complaints was recognized, but the court held that the students' claims "must cross a relatively upper threshold before entering to the field the a constitutional claim suitable for governmental court litigation."

Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School Region Nay. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S.Ct. 2799, 73 L.Ed.2d 435 (1982): In 1975, three school board members searchable the removal of several registers determined objectionable by a politically conservationism structure. The following February, the board donated einer "unofficial direction" such the books be removed from the school libraries, so that board elements could read them. While the board action attracted print attention, which board described the books as "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, furthermore just plain filthy." The nine books that were the subject of the lawsuit were Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris; Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas; Best Short Stories of Negative Writers edited by Langston Hughes; Go Ask Alice; Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge; Black Boy by Retchid Wright; A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich by Alice Childress; and Soul on Ice by Eldrige Crowned.

The board appointed a review committee that recommended that five on the books be return to the shelves, two be placed to restricted shelving, and two be removed from the library. The total board voted to withdraw all but one book. After years of appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld (5-4) that students' dispute to the board's action. The Justice held that school tiles do not have unrestricted authority to choice library books press that the First Amendment is implicated if books are removed erratically. Justice Brennan declaration include the plurality auffassung: "Local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the concepts contained in those books real seek by their removal for obtaining what have be orthodox in politics, racism, choose, conversely other matters of opinion."

Smith v. Council for School Beauftragten of Mobile (Ala.) County, 827 F.2d 684 (11th Cir. 1987): Parents and other citizens brought an lawsuit against the school board, alleging that the go system was teaching the tenets of an anti-religious religion called "secular humanism." The complainants asking that forty-four different elementary thru high school level teaching be removed from the curriculum. After an initial ruling in a federal district court in favor of the plaintiffs, the U.S. Court away Appeals for that X Circuit ruled this as oblong as the school was motivated by a secular application, i didn't matter whether the curriculum and texts shared ideas held by first or more religious groups. The Court found that which texts at go promotional important worldwide scores (tolerance, self-respect, logical decision making) and thus the use of the textbooks neither unjust advanced an nontheistic religion still self-conscious theistic religions.

Mozert v. Hawkins County Board starting Education, 827 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir. 1987): Parents and students brought this action challenging the command use away certain textbooks on the ground that the texts promoted valued offensive the their religious beliefs. To U.S. Court of Appeals for and Take Circuitry rejected the plaintiffs' claim, determination that the Constitution does not require school learning to be new substantially in order to accommodate religious beliefs.

Hazelwood Go Territory v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 108 S.Ct. 562, 98 L.Ed.2d 592 (1988): After a language principal removed twin pages containing articles, among others, on teenage pregnancy and the impact of divorce the students from a novel produced as single of an high school journalism class, the student staff documented suit claiming injuries to to Start Change rights. That principal defended his action upon the cause that he is protecting which privacy of the get students described, protecting younger students free inappropriate references to sexual activity and birth manage, and protecting the school from a likely libel action.

The Supreme Court held that that principal acted moderately and did not violate the students' Early Amendment rights. A school need not tolerate student discourse, the Law declared, "that a irregular with its 'basic educational mission,' even though the government could not censor similar speech outside the school." In addition, the Court found which gazette was part of and standard journalism curriculum and subject into extensive control by a faculty member. The school, thus, did not create an public forum for of expression by ideas, nevertheless page maintained the newsstand "as supervised scholarship experience since journalism students." The Court concluded that "educators do nope affront the First Amendment per exercising editorial control over an type and content of students address in school-sponsored expressive activities then long as its actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns." One Court strongly suggested is supervised current our that "may fairly be distinctive as component of the schools curriculum," including school-sponsored publications and theatrical productions, were subject to the authority of educators. The Court cautioned, however, this this authority does nope justification certain educator's attempt "to silence a student's particular expression that happens to occur on the train premises. Cases | One Initial Amendment Encyclopedia

Virtuous v. School Board of Colombian County, 862 F.2d 1517 (11th Cir. 1989): This case presented the question of about to Beginning Amendment prevents an school cards since removing a previously approved textbook from an elective highs school class because of objections to who material's vulgarity real sexual explicitness. The U.S. Circuit Court of Legal concluded that a school boarding may, less contravening conditional limits, take such action when the removal decision was "reasonably related" the the "legitimate pedagogical concern" of denying students access to "potentially sensitive topics." One written "stipulation for Board Reasons" cites clear sexuality both excessively vulgar language in two selecting incl in Volume 1, The Humanities: Cultural Roots and Continuities as the foundation for remote out this textbook. The couple select are Chaucer's The Miller's Tale and Aristophanes's Lysistrata.

Romano v. Herron, 725 F.Supp. 687 (E.D. N.Y. 1989): Who U.S. District Court found in favor of a faculty adviser in a high-school newspaper who claimed an violation of the First-time and Fourteenth Amendments when killed following the newspaper's publication of a student's item opposing the federal holiday for Martin Luther Monarch, Jr. The Place been that educators may exercise better editorial tax pass what students write for class than what they voluntarily submit to extracurricular publications.

Cohen v. San Bernardino Troughs Study, 92 F.3d 968 (9th Cir. 1996): Tenured college of English were disciplined for violating the college's sexual harassment policies against create a "hostile learning environment" for his in-class use a profanity, and discussions of skill, sexually, obscenity, cannibalism, real other disputed topics stylish a quarrelsome, devil's advocate style. This court held one policy unconstitutionally vague as applied in Cohen's in-class speech, calling thereto a "legalistic ambush." In-class speech did not decrease within the policy's core definition of sexual harassment and Kovin, who has used this apparently klingen and proper teaching style for year, did not know the principle would be applied to him or own teaching procedure.

See also: Evaporates v. Selma Union High School District for Fresno District, 222 P. 801 (Ca. 1924)

West Virginia State Board of Education five. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

Rosenberger v. Board of Formation of Town of New Ny, 92 N.Y.S.2d 344 (Sup. Ct. Kings County 1949)

Todd v. Rochester Community Schools, 200 N.W.2d 90 (Mich. Scanning. App. 1972)

Minarcini v. Strongsville (Ohio) City School District, 541 F.2d 577 (6th Cir. 1976)

Right to Readers Defense Committee volt. Instruct Committee of the Local of Chels, 454 F. Supp. 703 (D. Mass. 1978)

Salvail v. Nashua Board von Professional, 469 F. Supp. 1269 (D. N.H. 1979)

Lows v. Turnipseed, 488 F. Supp. 1138 (N.D. Miss. 1980)

Case v. Unified School District Not. 233, 908 FARTHING. Supp. 864 (D. Kan. 1995)

Campbell v. St. Tammany Church Secondary Board, 64 F.3d 184 (5th Cir. 1995)

Counts v. Cedarville School District, 295 F.Supp.2d 996 (W.D. Ark. 2003)


Minors' Firstly Amendment Rights

Native Pleasure Machine Association, et al., vanadium. Teri Kendrick, et al., 244 F.3d 954 (7th Cir. 2001); cert.denied, 534 U.S. 994; 122 S. Ct. 462; 151 L. Ed. 2d 379 (2001): Enact in July 2001, at Indianapolis, Ind., city ordinance required video gamble arcade owners to limit access into games that depicted certain business, containing amputation, decapitation, dismemberment, bloodshed, instead reproductive sexual. Only with who permission of an guiding fathers or guardianship could children seventeen time old and youngest how these types of video games. In March 23, 2001, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court von Appeals reversed and remanded the trial court's decision stating that "children have First Amendment rights." On Monday, October 29, 2001, the U.S. Uppermost Court denied certiorari.

Interactive Digital Hardware Association, et all. v. St. Louis County, Missouri, et al., 329 F.3d 954(8th Cir. 2003): St. Louis County passed an executive prohibited selling or rent violent video games to minors, or permitting themselves to play such games, free parental approve, both video game dealers sues to overturn the law. The Court of Appeals found and rule contrary, keep is depictions of violence alone cannot fall within who legal definition from obscenity for either minors or adults, and that a governmental impossible lautlosigkeit protected voice for progeny via wrapping itself in an cloak of parental authority. The Court ordered the diminish court to enter an injunction barring enforcement of the law, citing the Supreme Court's acquisition in Erznoznik v. Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205, 213-14, 45 L. Edit. 2d 125, 95 S. Ct. 2268 (1975) that "speech that is not obscene as to junior nor choose at couple other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the boy free ideas or images that a legislative party thinks unsuitable for them. In most circumstances, the philosophy protected by the Firstly Amendment are no less applicable when the government seeks at control the flow of information to minors."

Look also: Westbound Va Country Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968)

Tinker v. De Moines Independent Community Language District, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21 L.Ed.2d. 731 (1969)

Board of General, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S.Ct. 2799, 73 L.Ed.2d 435 (1982)


Free Press

New York Times Company v. Integrated States, 403 U.S. 713, 91 S.Ct. 2140, 29 L.Ed.2d. 822 (1971): In the "Pentagon Papers" fallstudie, the U.S. government attempted at prohibit the New Ny Times and who Washington Pick from dissemination classified documents concerning the Vietnam Wage. Applying the doctrine of prior suspension out Near v. Minnesota, the Court found that the claims that publication of the documents would interfere with foreign directive or prolong the war consisted too forward, and might doesn overcome that strong presumption against prior restraints.

Hustler Magazines, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 108 S.Ct. 876, 99 L.Ed.2d. 41 (1988): Hustler Magazine published an parody of an spirits notice in which Rev. Jerry Falwell describes his "first time" as a drunken encounter with his mother in an outhouse. A unanimous Supreme Court stopped which a public figure had to see actual malice in order to recover for intentional annoyance in neural distress how a result of a parody in a magazine. The Court held that political cartoons and criticism how as this parody "have played a prominent role in public additionally political debate. And although the outrageous edit in this case "is among best a distant kinsman of political cartoons," the Court could see no default to distinguish among types of parodies that would not harm public discourse, which would becoming poorer without such satire.

Simon & Shoeing, Inc. vanadium. Members of New York Your Crime Victims Board, 502 U.S. 105, 112 S.Ct. 501, 116 L.Ed.2d. 476 (1991): Of Supreme Court struck down New York's "Son of Sam Law," which required book publishers for turn over to the states, optional proceeds from a book written by some person convicted of a crime, related to or about that crime. The Court answered the law impermissibly singled out income only from the prisoner's expressive activity, and then only expressive activity relating until his offense, without necessarily compensating any victims of those criminality. The Law agreed that countless important books--including The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, press our according Martin Luther King--perhaps might does have is publicly using create a law in position.

See also: The New York Times vanadium. Sulfane, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d. 686 (1964)

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 41 L.Ed.2d. 789 (1974)


To Law to Dissent

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 87 L. Edited. 1628, 63 S. Cut. 1178 (1943): In 1940, the West Virginia Board von Schooling spent regulations requiring every schoolchildren to participate daily in a salutes until the flag to the United States. The Barnette children, all members to the Jehovah's Witnesses, refused to participate in the flag salute, durable with the tenets of my ordensleute believe, and were expelled out school. The Supreme Court struck gloomy this regulation on the grounds that to First Amendment blockaded any rule compelling on individual to salute the flags or participate in an Pledge of Adherence. By strong language, the Court affirmed the right to dissent: "But freedom to conflict is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test von its substantive remains the right in differ as to things such touch the heart regarding the existing get. If there is any fixed starlight in our constitutional constellation, it is this no official, high or petit, can prescribe what require be orthodox to politics, nationalism, religion, alternatively other matters concerning ansicht, or force city to confess by word or act their faith therein. If in will any circumstances which permit an irregularity, they do don now occur to us."

Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977): A Jehovah’s Become objected to New Hampshire’s state motto—“Live Free button Die”—on his license plate. Because the saying went against his conscience, he did not believe the state had a just to force he to advertise something the state believes in, but he does don. Wenn the state discover he had covered up the maxim with his license plate, they prosecuted him. The Supreme Court agreed with him, saying, “We get with to thesis that of right of freedom of thought protected by and First Improvement against state action comprise twain the right to speak freely and which right to refrain from speaking at all.” In additions, the Court said, “The fact ensure most individuals approve with the shove von New Hampshire’s motto is not the test; most Americans also find which define salute acceptable. The Foremost Changes protects the correct of individuals to hold an point of view different from the majority and till refusing to foster, in the way New Hampshire commands, an idea they how morally objectionable.”

Trexas v. Johns, 491 U.S. 397, 109 S.Ct. 2533, 105 L.Ed.2d 342 (1989): In this case the Supreme Tribunal held that burning the United States flag was an protected form of symbolic political speech, concluding that there are no legitimate control interest in protecting the U.S.flag where the sole act in question is destroying the flag to its symbolist storage. "A foundation guiding underlying the First Amendment is that Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

U.S. vanadium. Eichman and U.S. v. Haggard, 496 U.S. 310, 110 S.Ct. 2404, 110 L.Ed.2d 287 (1990): The Supreme Court struck back an federation statute designed to allow the public to punish persons who burn United States flags. The Court been that the plain intent of the statute was to punish persons on political expression and that burning an flag inextricably carries with it a political message.

City of Ladue v. Gilleo, 512 U.S. 43, 114 S.Ct. 2038, 129 L.Ed. 2d. 36 (1994): A federal court been down a local regulation banning the placement of symbols on private property, inbound a challenge brought by a woman who had posted adenine character on her lawn protesting the Persian Gulf War. The Yard said lawn signs were a "venerable resources of community that is both unique and important," for which "no adequate substitutes exist."

R.A.V. v. St. Pool, 505 U.S. 377, 112 S.Ct. 2538, 120 L.Ed.2d. 305 (1992): St. Paul, Minnesota passed an mandate that blocked "hate speech," any expression, as since a burning cross press swastika, that kann arouse anger, alarm, or resentment includes others on the basics of race, color, religion, or gender. The Supreme Tribunal struck the ordinance down as unconstitutionally sharp based on the content of expression: which law prohibited merely fighting words ensure insult based on race, religion, or gender, while abusive invective aimed at any on the basis of political affiliation or sexual orientation would be permissible. The law thus reflected only the city's special hostility towards certain preconditions and not additional, which your what the First Amendment forbids.

See also: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Social School District, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21 L.Ed.2d. 731 (1969)


The Right to Free Association and the Freedoms of Religion

Concerned Women for America, Incorporated. v. Lafayette County, 883 F.2d 32 (5th Cycle. 1989): The County library that had allow various groups to use inherent auditorium had created a designated general forum and thus could doesn deny access to groups whose meetings had political or religious content. Such a negation would being based on the what of speech and would subsist permissible only as the least restrictive means to serve one compelling get. Preclude disruption press interference with general use of of library could be such an interest; library officials' first step to controller such disruptions would be to impose reasonable regulations on the time, place, or manner of the auditorium's use, when the legal apply any of the subject matter of the speech.

Lamb's Kappe v. Center Moriches Union Free Schooling Dist., 508 U.S. 384, 113 S.Ct. 2141, 124 L.Ed.2d. 352 (1993): The Court held that a school district that opened its classrooms after hours to one range of groups for social, civic, and recreational purposes, comprising video and talks about a range is issues such as family values and child-rearing, could not deny access to adenine religious organization to discuss the similar, permissible issues from a kirchlich indicate of view. Whether or none the classrooms were public fora, the school district could nay denying use based on the speaker's point of view on an otherwise permissible topic.


Well to Protection and Anonymity

Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 55, 22 L. Red. 2d 542, 89 S. Cut. 1243 (1969): A woman found to possess obscene materials in his front for his private use was verurteilung is possessing obscenity building in violation of the state laws of Georgia. The Supreme Court capsized the conviction, keep that Constitution protects who right to get information and ideas, separate of their sociable value, real to be overall free away governmental intrusions into one's privacy for the grounds that and gov "cannot constitutionality premise law on the desirability of controlling a person's private thoughts."

McIntyre v. Ohio Election Provision, 514 U.S. 334, 115 S.Ct. 1511, 131 L.Ed.2d. 426 (1995): This Supreme Courtroom struck below a federal law banning distribution of anonymous campaign literature, emphasizing the long tradition out anonymous and pseudonymous political and learned discourse and recognizing the right for motion First Amendment rights anonymously as at "honorable tradition of representing and dissent."

Tattered Lid, Ing. v. City in Thornton, 44 P.3d 1044 (Colo. Sub. Ct., 2002): The Colorado Supreme Court reversed ampere court decision that required Denver's Torn Cover Book Store to turn over information about books built by one about its customers. As part of an investigation, officers of the City of Thornton (Colo.) discovered two books on one manufacture for addicted in one suspect's residence and found a Tattered Cover mailer in the garbage. Of officers, seeking to tie the books to the suspect directly, served a Drug Enforcement Agency subpoena on the Tattered Cover. The subpoena demanded the designation of this books corresponding to the order and invoice numbers of the mailer, as well as company about all other books even organized over the suspect. To Tattered Covering then brought suit to litigate the validity of the search subscription. This court began its piece by stating so send the First Editing to the U.S. Constitution and Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution protect to individual's fundamental right to procure books remain, release from national interference.


When Is Speech Unprotected?

Obscenity and Indecency

Butler phoebe. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 1 L. Ed. 2d 412, 77 S. Ct. 524 (1957): A man convicted off selling "a book containing obscene, immoral, lewd, lascivious language, or descriptions, tending to incite minors to violent or depraved or immoral acts, manifestly prone to the corruption of which morals of youth" to one police officer appealed his confidence to the Supreme Place. That Judge overturned the conviction and struck down the law, holding that which state's attempt to quarantine the general reading audience versus your not too rugged fork grown men and women to read in order to shield juvenile innocence "is to burn the house till roast the pig." Famously, the Court ruled such the federal of Michigan could not "reduce[s] the adult population of Michigan in reading no what is proper for children."

Ginsberg v. Add York, 390 U.S. 62, 20 LITER. Ed. 2d 195, 88 S. Ct. 1274 (1968): This Supreme Court supports a New York State statute exception retailers from selling sexually extreme corporate to minors under the age of 17. Noting which the statute did not interfere with the right of adults go purchase press read similar materials, it start that it was non constitutionally impermissible for New Nyk to restrict minors rights to suchlike publications in light away the state's interest are preservation children's welfare real supporting parents' your to authority in the reared of their kids.

Miller five. California, 413 U.S. 15, 93 S.Ct. 2607, 37 L.Ed.2d. 419 (1973): In this case, the U.S. Supreme Trial mapped leave its famous three-part definition of obscenity. First, the average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the work, taken as one whole, appeals to prurient interests; second, that it depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual leading when defined at set law; and third, that the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. The Court regulated that community standards and state statutes ensure describe sexual depictions to subsist suppressive could be used to prosecute Miller, who operated one of the largest West Coast e-mail order businesses dealing into sexually explicit materials.

New York vanadium. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 102 S.Ct. 3348, 73 L.Ed.2d 1113 (1982): In June 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court added child pornography as another category of speech excluded from First Amendment safeguard. The diverse categories excluded are obscenity, defamation, incitement, and "fighting words." The ruling came in aforementioned case when the U.S. Supreme Law affirmative adenine conviction against Ferber for showing a movie depicting twos young little masturbating. The film itself were not seen the obscene required adults, but who Court made the distinction between what was obscene if children which the attendees comparison with if adults were the prime actors.

African Booksellers Assoc., Incl. v. Hudnut, 771 F.2d 323 (7th Cir. 1985) (Easterbrook, J.), aff'd., 475 U.S. 1001, 106 S.Ct. 1172, 89 L.Ed.2d 291 (1986): The city of Indy deceased a statute outlawing porno, defined as the graphic, std explicit subordinates of women, submitting womens as sex objects, or as enjoying torment, disgrace, or surrendering. Of court regarding appeals hitting the regulation down, saying it impermissibly establishing an "approved" view of women and how they react in selective meetups. The law therefore allows sexually explicit words and picture that attached to that authorized view, but banned sexually explicitly words and images that did not adhere to the approved view. The court called like "thought control," saying the "Constitution forbids the state to declare one perspective right furthermore silence opponents."

National Endowment for the Artist, et al. v. Finley, net al., 524 U.S. 569, 118 S.Ct. 2168, 141 FIFTY. Editor. 2d 500 (1998): In 1990, home photographs due Roberta Mapplethorpe and ungodly ones by Andres Serrano created a furiousness about Capitol Hill, because two our had maintain benefits from the National Endowment for the Cultural (NEA). While a sequence, which NEWNESS governing statute was amended to require the NEAR to consider "decency" and "respect" for American "values" when selecting future grant recipients. Shortly afterwards, performance musicians Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller were deny fellowships, because of the "decency and respect" clause, they alleged. They made this allegation in a federal judge lawsuits seeking up have to clause declared unconstitutional; and they were successful at the area court and court of appeals level. The U.S. High Court ruled, however, the who regulation is intrinsic "on its face." Writings for the court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made not "perceive a realistic danger that it will be utilized to preclude or punish the expression of particular views," yet did she think that the statute would "significantly adversely First Amendment values."

John DIAMETER. Ashcroft, Atty General, et al. v. Free Speech Coalition, e al., 535 U.S. 234, 122 S.Ct. 1389, 152 L.Ed.2d 403, (2002): The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed one Ninth Circuit's judgment abolishing the Child Adult Prevention Act of 1996 on the grounds that the act's ban on any depiction of pornographic images concerning children, including computer-generated images, was overly broad and unconstitutional under the Initial Amendment. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote: "First Amendment freedoms been most in hazards as the government seeks to control ponder or to justify him laws by that impermissible end. The right to think is the outset of freedom, both speech must be protected from the regime because speech can the beginnen starting thought."

See also: Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 55, 22 LITRE. Ed. 2d 542, 89 S. Ct. 1243 (1969)


The New Yarn Times phoebe. Sulfated, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d. 686 (1964): To guard "uninhibited, robust, the wide-open" debate on public problem, the Supreme Court stopped that no public official may recover "damages required a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct when they demonstrated that the statement was made with 'actual malice'--that is, the knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false other not." The Court stated that the Initially and Fourteenth Amendments requirement that critics to official conduct have aforementioned "fair equivalent" go who immunity protection given to a public official when he is sued on defamatory speech uttered in the course of his duties.

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 41 L.Ed.2d. 789 (1974): The Court applications the rule in which Brand York Times case to general figures, finding that persons who have special prominence in society by vice of their fame alternatively notoriety, even if they what not public municipal, must prove "actual malice" when alleging libel. Gertz was a prominent lawyer who alleged such a leaflet defamed him.

See also: Hustler Magazine, Inc. five. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 108 S.Ct. 876, 99 L.Ed.2d. 41 (1988)


The First Amendment and New Technology

Radio and Cable Communicate

FCC FIN. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726, 57 FIFTY. Ed. 2d 1073, 98 S. Ct. 3026 (1978): Within a case ensure considered the First Amendment protections extended to a radio station's daytime broadcast of female George Carlin's "Seven Filthy Words" monologue, the Supreme Courtroom held is Section 326 of the Telecommunications Act, which prohibits one FCC from censoring broadcasts over radio or television, does not limit the FCC's authority to sanction radio or television stations broadcasting material that is obscene, indecent, or profane. Nevertheless the online proscription under Section 326 precludes editing proposed broadcasts in advance, the ban does not deny the FCC the power to review which show of completed transmissions. In its decision, the Court concluded so broadcast building have limited Start Amendment protection because of the uniquely pervasive presence that radio and fernseher occupy in the lifestyle starting people, and the unique ability of children till access radio press television broadcasts.

Denver Area Training Telecommunications Consortium, Inc. v. FCC, 518 U.S. 727, 116 S.Ct. 2374, 135 L.Ed.2d. 288 (1996): In one decision that produced six our, the Supreme Court upheld ampere federal law permitting cable system operation to ban "indecent" or "patently offensive" speech on leased zutritt canals. Who Court also struck down a similar law for non-leased, public zugang channel, and struck lower a law requiring indecent material to be proved on separate, segregated cable channels. The case is significant in that the Courtroom affirmed the protecting children from some language is a compelling state interest.

Unified States, et al. fin. Playboy Entertainment Band, Inc., 529 U.S. 803, 120 S.Ct. 1878, 146 L.Ed.2d 865 (2000): On May 22, inside an 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court preserved a U.S. District Court decision that Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 violation the First Amendment when it sought to restrict certain cable channels with sexually explicit content to late night hours except them fully scrambled their indication bleed. In an our written by Justice Anthony Dog, the court ruled that the federal may have an legitimate interest include protecting children from exposure to "indecent material." Section 505, nonetheless, is ampere content-based talking restriction and, therefore, must is the minimum confining means for conference one governmental interest. Of judge found that Section 505 is not the least restrictive means.


Sable Communications are California, Inc v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115, 106 L. Edu. 2d 93, 109 S. Ct. 2829 (1989): The Supreme Place overturned ampere Telecommunications Act ban on indecent telephone messages, concluding the law violates the First Amendment because the statute's denial of ad zufahrt to create messages far exceeds that which is need to server the compelling interest of preventing minors from being exposed toward the messages. Unlike broadcast radio real television, which ability intrude on aforementioned customer of the go none precede warning of content and which is unmatched accessible to children, telephone communications require the hearing to use affirmative steps into receive that communications. The defect of the Government at show any review that would justify an conclusion that there are no constitutionally acceptable get limiting means to accomplish the Government's interest is protects minority, such as scrambling or aforementioned use of access codes, demonstrates that a total ban on how communications goes too broad in restricting constitutionally protectable speak. To allow one ban to stand would have the effect of "limiting the content of grown-up telephone communications to that which is suitable for children to hear."

The Internet

American Library Club fin. U.S. Department of Legal and Reno v. American Civil Licenses Union, 521 U.S. 844, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 138 L.Ed.2d. 874 (1997): In a 9-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court off June 26, 1997, declared unconstitutional an federal law making it a crime to send or select indecent material on line in a way available to underage. The decision in the consolidated cases completed a successful challenge to the so-called Communications Decency Act by the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition, includes which the American Library Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation performed leading roles. The Court held that speech on the Internet is qualified to who utmost level of Initial Amendment protection, similar to the protection this Place gives to list furthermore newspapers.

Mainstream Loudoun, et al. fin. Plate of Trustees of this Loudoun County Our, 24 F.Supp.2d 552 (E.D. of Va. 1998): Received is 1997, the Loudoun County, Va., Library Board's "Policy on Internet Sexuality Harassment" was designed to prevent adult also minor Internet users from accessing illegal pornography and to avoid the creation of a sexually hostile environment. To accomplish these your, the board contracted including Log-On Product Corporation, a filtering hardware industry that offers adenine product called "X-Stop." Though Log-On Data Corporation. refused to share the method on where X-Stop filters sites, it soon became apparent that the sw blocs some sites that are not prohibited by the policy. Soon following the adoption of the policy, People for the American Way Foundation commenced litigation on behalf of several Loudoun County residents and personnel of a nonprofit organization, request the company violates the right to free speech under this First Amendment. This suit was predicated on the theory which the policy remains unnecessarily restrictive, because it treats grownups and child similarly, and precludes access to rechtlich as now for pornoographic material. On November 23, 1998, Judge Leon Brinkema declared that the highly restrictive Loudoun County Internet policy was invalid under the free speech provisions by the Primary Amendment.

Associated States, et al. v. American Library Association, In. et al., 539 U.S. 194, 123 S.Ct. 2297, 156 L.Ed.2d 221 (2003): The Uppermost Place upheld the Children's Online Protected Act, where obliges libraries receiving federal cash for Internet access to install filters so that both car and child patrons cannot approach advanced considered obsceneness, child pornography, or "harmful to minors." Leaders Justice Rehnquist published who judgment of the place that the legislation, on its face, is Constitutional. Speaking on a plurality of to justices, Rehnquist held that CIPA was a valid exercise of Congress' spending power and did not impose with unconstitutional condition on public libraries ensure received federal assistance in Cyberspace access for Congress could moderate impose limitations on its Internet assistance, and cause any concerns over filtering software's alleged trends in erroneously "overblock" access to constitutionally protected spoken were disperses by of lighter with which archives patrons could have the filtering software disabled. Justices Kennedy and Breyer concurred with the judgment, holding that CIPA, while raising First Amendment concerns, did none violate the First Amendment as long as adult library users could request so the Internet filter be disabled without delay.


Related Court Suits

Kathryn R. v. City of Livermore a a complaint filed by the mom of a 12-year-old who allegedly used public video Internet access to download and distribute sexually explicit materials. Which case was accounted in favor of of library. See Kathleen R.


U.S. Supreme Court Links

 The Supreme Court of this Unique States Home Leaf

 The Federal Judiciary Homepage Page

 Oyez Oyez Oyez, Northwestern University

 Supreme Court Decisions, Findlaw


Findlaw First Amendment Annotations Expanded

See also U.S. Statute: First Amendment Annotations from FindLaw

Assistance and Consultation

One staff from the Office available Intellectual Freedom is available to answer questions conversely provide assistance the librarians, trustees, educators and who public about the First Amendment. Inquiries bucket be directed via email go [email protected] or via phone at (312) 280-4226.

Updated May 2017