425 U.S. 963 (1976), 75-983, Liles v. Oregon

Docket Nº:No. 75-983.
Citation:425 U.S. 963, 96 S.Ct. 1749, 48 L.Ed.2d 209
Party Name:Joel Anthony LILES and Ralph Alexander Bremner v. State of OREGON.
Case Date:May 03, 1976
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 963

425 U.S. 963 (1976)

96 S.Ct. 1749, 48 L.Ed.2d 209

Joel Anthony LILES and Ralph Alexander Bremner


State of OREGON.

No. 75-983.

United States Supreme Court.

May 3, 1976


On petition for writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals of oregon.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice STEVENS, concurring in the denial of certiorari.

The question we must first decide when acting on a petition for certiorari is whether we should set the case for full briefing and oral argument and thereafter decide the merits. Nothing in Mr. Justice BRENNAN'S opinion dissenting from the denail of certiorari in this case persuades me that any purpose would be served by such argument. 1 For there is no reason to believe that the

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majority of the Court which decided Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 93 S.Ct. 2607, 37 L.Ed.2d 419, is any less adamant than the minority. Accordingly, regardless of how I might vote on the merits after full argument, it would be pointless to grant certiorari in case after case of this character only to have Miller reaffirmed time after time.

Since my dissenting Brethren have recognized the force of this reasoning in the past,2 I believe they also could properly vote to deny certiorari in this case without acting inconsistently with their principled views on the merits. In all events, until a valid reason for voting to grant one of these petitions is put forward, I shall continue to vote to deny. In the interest of conserving scarce law library space, I shall not repeat this explanation every time I cast such a vote.

[96 S.Ct. 1750] Mr. Justice BRENNAN, with whom Mr. Justice STEWART and Mr. Justice MARSHALL join, dissenting.

Petitioners were convicted of selling obscene motion picture films in violation of the recently enacted and as yet uncodified provisions of Oregon Laws 1973, c. 699, § 4. Section 4 provides:

'(1) A person commits the crime of disseminating obscene material if he knowingly makes, exhibits, sells, delivers or provides, or offers or agrees to make, exhibit, sell, deliver or provide, or has in his possession with intent to exhibit, sell, deliver or provide any obscene writing, picture, motion picture, films, slides, drawings or other visual reproduction.

'(2) As used in subsection (1) of this section, matter is obscene if:

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'(a) It depicts or describes in a patently offensive manner sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct;

'(b) The average person applying contemporary state standards would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex; and

'(c) Taken as a whole, it lacks a serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

. . .'

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