Butler v. State of Michigan, No. 16

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtFRANKFURTER
Citation77 S.Ct. 524,1 L.Ed.2d 412,352 U.S. 380
Docket NumberNo. 16
Decision Date25 February 1957
PartiesAlfred E. BUTLER, Appellant, v. STATE OF MICHIGAN

352 U.S. 380
77 S.Ct. 524
1 L.Ed.2d 412
Alfred E. BUTLER, Appellant,

v.

STATE OF MICHIGAN.

No. 16.
Argued Oct. 16, 1956.
Decided Feb. 25, 1957.

Mr. Manuel Lee Robbins, New York City, for the appellant.

Mr. Edmund E. Shepherd, Detroit, Mich., for the appellee.

Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.

This appeal from a judgment of conviction entered by the Recorder's Court of the City of Detroit, Michigan

Page 381

challenges the constitutionality of the following provision, § 343, of the Michigan Penal Code, Comp.Laws Supp.1954, § 750.343:

'Any person who shall import, print, publish, sell, possess with the intent to sell, design, prepare, loan, give away, distribute or offer for sale, any book, magazine, newspaper, writing, pamphlet, ballad, printed paper, print, picture, drawing, photograph, publication or other thing, including any recordings, containing obscene, immoral, lewd or lascivious language, or obscene, immoral, lewd or lascivious prints, pictures, figures or descriptions, tending to incite minors to violent or depraved or immoral acts, manifestly tending to the corruption of the morals of youth, or shall introduce into any family, school or place of education or shall buy, procure, receive or have in his possession, any such book, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper, writing, ballad, printed paper, print, picture, drawing, photograph, publication or other thing, either for the purpose of sale, exhibition, loan or circulation, or with intent to introduce the same into any family, school or place of education, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.'

Appellant was charged with its violation for selling to a police officer what the trial judge characterized as 'a book containing obscene, immoral, lewd, lascivious language, or descriptions, tending to incite minors to violent or depraved or immoral acts, manifestly tending to the corruption of the morals of youth.' Appellant moved to dismiss the proceeding on the claim that application of § 343 unduly restricted freedom of speech as protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in that the statute (1) prohibited distribution of a book to the general public on the basis of the undesirable influence it may have upon youth; (2) damned a book and

Page 382

proscribed its sale merely because of some isolated passages that appeared objectionable when divorced from the book as a whole; and (3) failed to provide a sufficiently definite standard of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
226 practice notes
  • Denver Area Educ. Telecomm. Consortium v. Fcc, 95124
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1996
    ...Sable, 492 U. S., at 128 (quoting Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U. S. 60, 73 (1983), in turn quoting Butler v. Michigan, 352 U. S. 380, 383 (1957)); see Sable, supra, at 130, and n. 10. But, leaving that problem aside, the Solicitor General's list of practical difficulties would......
  • Dunagin v. City of Oxford, Miss., Nos. 80-3762
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • October 31, 1983
    ..." Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., --- U.S. ----, ----, 103 S.Ct. 2875, 2884, 77 L.Ed.2d 469 (1983) (quoting Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383, 77 S.Ct. 524, 525, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 B. The Twenty-first Amendment If there is any instance where a state can escape First Amendment constrain......
  • Miller v. California 8212 73 18 8212 19, 1972, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1973
    ...93 L.Ed. 513 (1949); Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 169—170, 64 S.Ct. 438, 443—444, 88 L.Ed. 645 (1944). Cf. Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 382—383, 77 S.Ct. 524, 525, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 (1957); Public Utilities Comm'n v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 464—465, 72 S.Ct. 813, 821—822, 96 L.Ed. ......
  • Illinois Citizens Committee for Broadcasting v. F. C. C., No. 73-1652
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 21, 1975
    ...it was also held that a statute designed to protect children could not prohibit adult access to protected material. Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383-84, 77 S.Ct. 524, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 (1957). Apparently what the FCC means by the pervasive, intrusive nature of radio is the fact that some r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
224 cases
  • Denver Area Educ. Telecomm. Consortium v. Fcc, 95124
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1996
    ...Sable, 492 U. S., at 128 (quoting Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U. S. 60, 73 (1983), in turn quoting Butler v. Michigan, 352 U. S. 380, 383 (1957)); see Sable, supra, at 130, and n. 10. But, leaving that problem aside, the Solicitor General's list of practical difficulties would......
  • Dunagin v. City of Oxford, Miss., Nos. 80-3762
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • October 31, 1983
    ..." Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., --- U.S. ----, ----, 103 S.Ct. 2875, 2884, 77 L.Ed.2d 469 (1983) (quoting Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383, 77 S.Ct. 524, 525, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 B. The Twenty-first Amendment If there is any instance where a state can escape First Amendment constrain......
  • Miller v. California 8212 73 18 8212 19, 1972, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1973
    ...93 L.Ed. 513 (1949); Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 169—170, 64 S.Ct. 438, 443—444, 88 L.Ed. 645 (1944). Cf. Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 382—383, 77 S.Ct. 524, 525, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 (1957); Public Utilities Comm'n v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 464—465, 72 S.Ct. 813, 821—822, 96 L.Ed. ......
  • Illinois Citizens Committee for Broadcasting v. F. C. C., No. 73-1652
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 21, 1975
    ...it was also held that a statute designed to protect children could not prohibit adult access to protected material. Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380, 383-84, 77 S.Ct. 524, 1 L.Ed.2d 412 (1957). Apparently what the FCC means by the pervasive, intrusive nature of radio is the fact that some r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Pornography and Politics: the Court, the Constitution, and the Commission
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 24-4, December 1971
    • December 1, 1971
    ...of the possibility of this evil, see Roth v. U.S., 354 U.S. 476, 502 (1957)(Harlan, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).7 352 U.S. 380 (1957).8 Ibid., at 383.9 Regina v. Hicklin, L.R. 3 Q.B. 360 (1868). The famous test of obscenity as "pornographicmatter having influence upon par......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT