Kois v. Wisconsin 8212 5625, No. 71

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; STEWART; DOUGLAS
Citation33 L.Ed.2d 312,408 U.S. 229,92 S.Ct. 2245
Docket NumberNo. 71
Decision Date26 June 1972
PartiesJohn R. KOIS v. State of WISCONSIN. —5625

408 U.S. 229
92 S.Ct. 2245
33 L.Ed.2d 312
John R. KOIS

v.

State of WISCONSIN.

No. 71—5625.
June 26, 1972.

PER CURIAM.

Petitioner was convicted in the state trial court of violating a Wisconsin statute prohibiting the dissemination of 'lewd, obscene or indecent written matter, picture, sound recording, or film.' Wis.Stat. 944.21(1)(a) (1969). He was sentenced to consecutive one-year terms in the Green Bay Reformatory and fined $1,000 on each of two counts. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin, upheld his conviction against the contention that he had been deprived of freedom of the press in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. 51 Wis.2d 668, 188 N.W.2d 467.

Petitioner was the publisher of an underground newspaper called Kaleidoscope. In an issue published in May 1968, that newspaper carried a story entitled 'The One Hundred Thousand Dollar Photos' on an interior page. The story itself was an account of the arrest of one of Kaleidoscope's photographers on a charge of pos-

Page 230

session of obscene material. Two relatively small pictures, showing a nude man and nude woman embracing in a sitting position, accompanied the article and were described in the article as 'similar' to those seized from the photographer. The article said that the photographer, while waiting in the district attorney's office, had heard that bail might be set at $100,000. The article went on to say that bail had in fact been set originally at $100, then raised to $250, and that later the photographer had been released on his own recognizance. The article purported to detail police tactics that were described as an effort to 'harass' Kaleidoscope and its staff.

Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 77 S.Ct. 1304, 1 L.Ed.2d 1498 (1957), held that obscenity was not protected under the First or Fourteenth Amendments. Material may be considered obscene when 'to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.' 354 U.S., at 489, 77 S.Ct. at 1311. In enunciating this test, the Court in Roth quoted from Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 101—102, 60 S.Ct. 736, 743—744, 84 L.Ed. 1093:

'The freedom of speech and of the press guaranteed by the Constitution embraces at the least the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully all matters of public concern without previous restraint or fear of subsequent punishment. The exigencies of the colonial period and the efforts to secure freedom from oppressive administration developed a broadened conception of these liberties as adequate to supply the public need for information and education with respect to the significant issues of the times. . . .' (Emphasis supplied.)

We do not think it can fairly be said, either considering the article as it appears or the record...

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182 practice notes
  • State v. J-R Distributors, Inc., J-R
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 27, 1973
    ...We assume that a similar argument would be made under the Roth-Miller test. Such a position is without legal sanction. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972), has devised a commonsense test which generally provides that if pictures accompany text material, its......
  • Doe v. City of Lafayette, Ind., No. 01-3624.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 30, 2004
    ...U.S. 15, 24, 34, 93 S.Ct. 2607, 37 L.Ed.2d 419 (1973)], is distinct from a control of reason and the intellect. Cf. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972); Roth v. United States, [354 U.S. 476, 485-87, 77 S.Ct. 1304, 1 L.Ed.2d 1498 (1957)]; Thornhill v. Alabam......
  • Miller v. California 8212 73 18 8212 19, 1972, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1973
    ...II This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972); United States v. Reidel, 402 U.S., at 354, 91 S.Ct., at 1411—1412; Roth v. United States, supra, 354 ......
  • People v. Kuhns, Cr. 14439
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 8, 1976
    ...a scientific treatise. Here again there must be establishment of the other factors set forth in the statute. (See Kois v. Wisconsin (1972) 408 U.S. 229, 232, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312; and Redrup v. New York (1967) 386 U.S. 767, 770--771, 87 S.Ct. 1414, 18 L.Ed.2d 515, reh. den. 388 U.S......
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181 cases
  • State v. J-R Distributors, Inc., J-R
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 27, 1973
    ...We assume that a similar argument would be made under the Roth-Miller test. Such a position is without legal sanction. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972), has devised a commonsense test which generally provides that if pictures accompany text material, its......
  • Doe v. City of Lafayette, Ind., No. 01-3624.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 30, 2004
    ...U.S. 15, 24, 34, 93 S.Ct. 2607, 37 L.Ed.2d 419 (1973)], is distinct from a control of reason and the intellect. Cf. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972); Roth v. United States, [354 U.S. 476, 485-87, 77 S.Ct. 1304, 1 L.Ed.2d 1498 (1957)]; Thornhill v. Alabam......
  • Miller v. California 8212 73 18 8212 19, 1972, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1973
    ...II This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment. Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312 (1972); United States v. Reidel, 402 U.S., at 354, 91 S.Ct., at 1411—1412; Roth v. United States, supra, 354 ......
  • People v. Kuhns, Cr. 14439
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 8, 1976
    ...a scientific treatise. Here again there must be establishment of the other factors set forth in the statute. (See Kois v. Wisconsin (1972) 408 U.S. 229, 232, 92 S.Ct. 2245, 33 L.Ed.2d 312; and Redrup v. New York (1967) 386 U.S. 767, 770--771, 87 S.Ct. 1414, 18 L.Ed.2d 515, reh. den. 388 U.S......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The Supreme Court of the United States, 1971-1972
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 25-4, December 1972
    • December 1, 1972
    ...accompanied an article. In another issue thenewspaper published a poem entitled &dquo;Sex Poem.&dquo; In Kois v. Wisconsin (408 U.S.229; 92 S. Ct. 2245) the Court in a per curiam opinion reversed the conviction. Asto the pictures the opinion noted that &dquo;in the context in which they app......

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