Roth v United States; Alberts v California (1957) 354 U.S. 476 Facts: Roth was convicted of violating a federal statute prohibiting any person to mail any “obscene” publication, and Alberts was convicted of violating a California statute prohibiting any person to write, print, or sell any “obscene” writing. Issue: Whether obscenity is within the area of protected speech and press, and what constitutes obscenity. Holding: The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions. Obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press and may be suppressed without proof that it will create a clear and present danger of antisocial conduct. Rationale: Justice Brennan delivered the opinion of the Court. The opinion begins by asserting that all ideas having even the slightest redeeming social value have full protection unless they “encroach upon the limited area of more important interests.” Yet the history of the First Amendment rejects obscenity because it does not have any “redeeming social value.” The basis
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