JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh

THIS DAY AT LAW
Today in legal history...

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

ACLU agreed to defend Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" against obscenity charges
Kyle Webster at 12:00 AM ET

On April 3, 1957, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to defend Allen Ginsberg's poetry collection Howl and Other Poems against any obscenity charges brought against it. Publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti planned to publish in the US, but lacked the funds to challenge existing and future obscenity claims, so he delayed publication until he had secured representation. ACLU lawyer Al Bendich successfully defended Ferlinghetti in California Superior Court, bringing forth nine literary experts and convincing the judge that the work had literary merit. The decision came just months after Roth v. United States, where the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected literature, but not obscenity.

Learn more about obscenity and indecency from the JURIST news archive.




Link post | IM post | go to JURIST | © JURIST, 2013


LATEST DAYS

 Roosevelt approves $1 billion in aid to WWII Allies under Lend-Lease Act
October 30, 2014

 Russians granted basic civil liberties
October 30, 2014

 click for more...

SYNDICATION

Add This Day at Law to your RSS reader or personalized portal:
  • Add to Google
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Subscribe with Bloglines
  • Add to My AOL

E-MAIL

Subscribe to This Day at Law alerts via R|mail. Enter your e-mail address below. After subscribing and being returned to this page, please check your e-mail for a confirmation message.
MyBlogAlerts also e-mails alerts of new This Day at Law entries. It's free and fast, but ad-based.

CONTACT

This Day at Law welcomes reader comments, tips, URLs, updates and corrections. E-mail us at archives@jurist.org