Alfred E. Butler Case Summary

525 Words3 Pages

In February 25, 1957 Alfred E. Butler, was found guilty of breaking a Michigan state law that forbids the making, ownership and spreading of, or distribution of any writing and pictures or records that are have offensive language and are not accepted by societal standards. The court ruled in favor of Michigan State as Butler has violated the state law. He lost the case in a vote of 9 - 0 and was fined 100 dollars ("Butler v. Michigan."). The problem with this case is not that he was found guilty; the problem is that the state legislated a law that goes completely against the First Amendment that prohibits governments from creating laws that take away the citizens right and protects the citizens from their government. Butler did in fact violate …show more content…

He has sold books to peoples that were considered to be offensive by the government. In June 24, 1957, Roth was found guilty of mailing his books to people as it violated the federal obscenity statute. The question that was asked in the court was that “Did either the federal or California 's obscenity restrictions, prohibiting the sale or transfer of obscene materials through the mail, impinge upon the freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment?”(“Roth”). The court was trying to decide whether Roth’s action enjoyed the First Amendment. Eventually, the court declared that Roth was guilty. Roth was defeated in a 6 - 3 vote. The court announced that the obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment. “The Court noted that the First Amendment was not intended to protect every utterance or form of expression, such as materials that were "utterly without redeeming social importance."(“Roth”).The court said the first Amendment was not planned to protect statements like Roth’s. The problem is the First Amendment does not specify what kind of speech is protected or not. It simply says “Congress shall make no law….abridging the freedom of speech” ("First Amendment (ratified 1791”). Nowhere in the Amendment does it specify what kind of speech is protected. In addition, United State also violated its citizen’s right by creating a law (The Federal Obscenity Statute) to limit the speech of the people, which is an

Show More
Open Document