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Simon & Schuster v. Members of the New York State Crime Victims Board

Significance, Crime For Profit


Simon & Schuster, Inc.


New York Crime Victims Board

Petitioner's Claim

That New York's "Son of Sam" law restricts free speech and is therefore inconsistent with the First Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Howard L. Zwickel

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Ronald S. Rauchberg

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

None (Clarence Thomas did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

10 December 1991


Overturned the two lower courts' decisions ruling that New York's Son of Sam law was inconsistent with the First Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92 (1972).
  • Arkansas Writers' Project v. Ragland, 481 U.S. 221 (1987).
  • Leathers v. Medlock, 499 U.S. 439 (1991).


Garbus, Martin. Let's Do Away with "Son of Sam" Laws. Publisher's Weekly, Vol. 242, no. 7, p. 19.

Further Readings

  • Fabian, Ann. "Crime that Pays." Yale Review, October 1993, pp. 45.
  • The Gainesville Sun. http://www.sunone.com
  • Grogan, David. "Cashing in." People Weekly, August 8, 1994, pp. 26.
  • State of New York Press Releases. http://www.oag.state.ny.us

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994