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Winters v. New York (docket #: 3) (1948)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 11/10/1947
Decided 3/29/1948
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Note Importantly, Justice Reed stated: "The line between the informing and the entertaining is too elusive for [First Amendment purposes]."
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim upheld
IssueWhether a New York statute prohibiting publications of violent materials "principally made up of criminal news, police reports, or accounts of criminal deeds, or pictures, or stories of deeds of bloodshed, lust or crime," is overly vague and violates the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Majority Opinion Reed, J.
Dissenting Opinion Frankfurter, J. (joined by Jackson, J. & Burton, J.)
Lower Court New York Court of Appeals
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
For Petitioner
Whitman Knapp

For Respondent
Arthur N. Seiff

Ruling - Lower Court
294 N.Y. 545, 63 N.E.2d 98
Stokes, Dillard, "Court Taking Third Swing at Magazine Ban," The Washington Post, Sept. 28, 1947, Sect. B, p. 2
Stokes, Dillard, "Supreme Court Strikes Down N.Y. Law Against Crime Books," The Washington Post, March 30, 1948, p. 1
Walz, Jay, "State Law of 1884 on Lurid Books Killed by High Court as Too Vague," The New York Times, March 30, 1948, p. 1
Emerson, Thomas, THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (1970), pp. 403-404, 467, 513
Heins, Marjorie, NOT IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN (2001), pp. 54-65
Nahmod, "Artistic Expression and Aesthetic Theory: The Beautiful, The Sublime and The First Amendment," 1987 Wis. L. Rev 221.
Note, "Motion Pictures and the First Amendment," 60 Yale L. J. 696 (1951)
Wittern-Keller, Laura, FREEDOM OF THE SCREEN (2008), pp. 165-168
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