Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson

(Redirected from 343 U.S. 495)

Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson
by the Supreme Court of the United States

Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495 (1952), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court which largely marked the decline of motion picture censorship in the United States. It determined that certain provisions of the New York Education Law allowing a censor to forbid the commercial showing of any non-licensed motion picture film, or revoke or deny the license of a film deemed to be "sacrilegious," was a "restraint on freedom of speech" and thereby a violation of the First Amendment. By way of this, the decision defined film as an artistic medium protected by the Constitution's guarantee of free speech. In so doing, the Court overturned its previous decision in Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio (1915), which found that movies were not an art form worthy of First Amendment protection, but merely a business. Excerpted from Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

343 U.S. 495

Joseph Burstyn, Inc.  v.  Wilson

 Argued: April 24, 1952. --- Decided: May 26, 1952

[Syllabus from 496 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Ephraim S. London, Clendon H. Lee, Milton H. Spiero, and Leonard P. Simpson, New York City, for appellant.

Mr. Charles A. Brind, Jr., Wendell P. Brown, Albany, N.J., for appellees.

Mr. Justice CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).