Stanley v. Georgia
Obscene Materials, Privacy And The First Amendment, Impact, Related Cases
Robert Eli Stanley
State of Georgia
A Georgia state law criminalizing the possession of obscene material in one's home is unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of speech clause in the First Amendment.
Chief Lawyer for Appellant
Wesley R. Asinof
Chief Lawyer for Appellee
J. Robert Sparks
Justices for the Court
Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall (writing for the Court), Potter Stewart, Earl Warren, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
7 April 1969
Reversed a Georgia Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia state statute that criminalized the private possession of obscene material.
With Stanley v. Georgia the Court established boundaries over which state and federal laws could criminalize private ownership of pornographic or obscene material. The Court ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of what an individual reads or watches in the privacy of his home.
- Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997.
- Gunther, Gerald, and Kathleen Sullivan. Constitutional Law, 13th ed. New York: The Foundation Press Inc., 1997.
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