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Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (docket #: 522) (1952)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 04/24/1952
Decided 05/26/1952
Supreme Court Vote 9-0
Note The Joseph Burstyn holding overruled Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio (1915).
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim sustained.
 
IssueWhether a New York Education Law that prohibited the commercial showing of any motion picture film without a license, and authorized denial of a license on a censor’s conclusion that a film was "sacrilegious," violated the First Amendment. Could the New York Board of Regents ban Roberto Rossellini’s “The Miracle” under regulations barring "sacrilegious" films?
Majority Opinion Clark, J.,
Concurring Opinion Reed, J. (conucurring in judgment), & Frankfurter, J. (concurring in judgment joined by Jackson, J., & Burton, J.)
Lower Court New York Court of Appeals
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Ephraim S. London (for Appellant)

For Respondent
Charles A. Brind, Jr. & Wendell P. Brown, Solicitor General of New York (for Appellees)

Briefs
For Amicus
Morris L. Ernst, Osmond Fraenkel, Arthur Garfield Hays, Herbert Monte Levy, Emanuel Redfield, Shad Polier, Will Maslow, Leo Pfeffer, Herman Seid & Eberhard P. Deutsch filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union.

News
"Maryland's Censors," Washington Post, July 1, 1952, p. 8
"'Miracle' Decision Hailed as Victory; Burstyn, Film Distributor, and London, His Attorney, Get Scrolls at Luncheon," New York Times, June 26, 1952, p. 26
Other
de Grazia, Edward, GIRLS LEAN BACK EVERYWHERE: THE LAW OF OBSCENITY AND THE ASSAULT ON GENIUS (1992), pp. 233, 293, 312, 407, 619, 621
Emerson, Thomas I., THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (1970), pp. 468, 513
Heins, Marjorie, "The 'Miracle' of Burstyn v. Wilson," in Joseph Russomano, editor, DEFENDING THE FIRST: COMMENTARY ON FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES AND CASES (2005), pp. 61-84
Wiecek, William M., THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN CONSTITUTION: THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, 1941-1953 (Holmes Devise, vol. XII, 2006), pp. 197-200
Commentary
Editorial, "License All Movie Houses, Censors' Attorney Proposes," Washington Post, June 29, 1952, sect. M, p. 1
McMasters, Paul, "The magic of movies vs. the mind of the censor" (03/28/2000)

Paulson, Ken "Landmark decision brought freedom to films" (06/16/2002)

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