First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
 
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
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Whitman Knapp

For Respondent
Arthur N. Seiff

Ruling - Lower Court
294 N.Y. 545, 63 N.E.2d 98
News
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
Other
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
 SEARCH MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

First Reports
Supreme Court
Experts
Columnists
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links