Roth v. United States

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Roth v. United States
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided June 24, 1957
Followed Miller v. California


Bookstore owners in the states of New York & California were being prosecuted for selling books that contained erotic stories or nude photos.

Procedural History

Roth was convicted of obscenity charges in the Southern District of New York.


Is obscenity protected by the 1st Amendment?


Obscenity isn't protected by the First Amendment as either speech or press.


The justices cited the British case Regina v. Hicklin (1868) which stated that any material that tended to "deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences" was obscene.


Whether "applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest."