Redrup v. New York

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Redrup v. New York  (1967) 

Redrup v. New York, 386 U.S. 767 (1967) was a May 8, 1967 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, widely regarded as the end of American censorship of written fiction. Robert Redrup was a Times Square newsstand clerk who sold two of William Hamling's Greenleaf Classics paperback pulp sex novels, Lust Pool and Shame Agent, to a plainclothes police officer. He was tried and convicted in 1965.

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

386 U.S. 767

Redrup  v.  New York

Certiorari to the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department

No. 3  Argued: October 10, 1966 --- Decided: May 8, 1967.[∗]


Petitioners in Nos. 3 and 16 were convicted for violating New York and Kentucky laws, respectively, concerning the sale of allegedly obscene publications. In No. 50 the Arkansas courts in a civil proceeding declared certain issues of specific magazines to be obscene, enjoined their distribution, and ordered their destruction.

Held: These cases can be and are decided upon their common constitutional basis that the distribution of the publications is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments from governmental suppression.

No. 50, 239 Ark. 474, 393 S.W.2d 219, and Nos. 3 and 16, reversed.

Sam Rosenwein argued the cause for petitioner in No. 3. With him on the briefs were Stanley Fleishman and Osmond K. Fraenkel. Mr. Fleishman argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner in No. 16. Emanuel Redfield argued the cause and filed briefs for appellants in No. 50.

H. Richard Uviller argued the cause for respondent in No. 3. With him on the brief were Frank S. Hogan and Alan F. Scribner. John B. Browning, Assistant Attorney General of Kentucky, argued the cause for respondent in No. 16. With him on the brief was Robert Matthews, Attorney General. Fletcher Jackson, Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, argued the cause for appellee in No. 50. With him on the brief were Bruce Bennett, Attorney General, H. Clay Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, and Jack L. Lessenberry.

[p768] Morris B. Abram and Jay Greenfield filed briefs for the Council for Periodical Distributors Associations, Inc., as amicus curiae, urging reversal in all three cases. Horace S. Manges filed a brief for American Book Publishers Council, Inc., as amicus curiae, urging reversal in No. 50.

Charles H. Keating, Jr., and James J. Clancy filed briefs for Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc., as amicus curiae, urging affirmance in Nos. 3 and 16.

^  Together with No. 16, Austin v. Kentucky, on certiorari to the Circuit Court of McCracken County, Kentucky, argued on October 10–11, 1966, and No. 50, Gent et al. v. Arkansas, on appeal from the Supreme Court of Arkansas, argued October 11, 1966.

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).