In this case, the court granted the appellant’s motion for a stay of the temporary injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said respondents were the owners and operators of a motion picture theatre which has been showing the film, ‘I Am Curious (Yellow).’ They were indicted by the Suffolk County Grand Jury for possessing with intent to exhibit an obscene film in violation of Mass.Gen.Laws, c. 272, § 28A. Subsequently, respondents brought an action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to enjoin future prosecutions for the showing of ‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’ and to declare that prosecution and the Massachusetts statute unconstitutional.
The indictments were then dismissed, and new indictments were thereafter returned. Respondent’s request for a temporary injunction barring the second prosecution was denied by the District Court. Respondents were convicted of the state obscenity offense.
Respondents alleged that it can still future showings of the film ‘I am Curious (Yellow)’ pending a final disposition by the District Courts on the merits. The appellant, the District Attorney for Suffolk County, disagreed. The District Court, however, authorized a temporary injunction enjoining the District Attorney from interfering with respondents as respects future showings of the film, ‘I Am Curious (Yellow),’ pending a final disposition by the District Court on the merits.
Applicant District Attorney requested the Court to stay the temporary injunction which was issued by the District Court.
The court granted the motion of the District Attorney.
According to the court, the injunction issued by the District Court does not interfere in any way with the criminal conviction already obtained in the Massachusetts courts. That case will proceed unaffected by anything the federal court does, save for final execution of the state judgment. Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479, 85 S.Ct. 1116, 14 L.Ed.2d 22, is different. There the court did not force petitioners to risk vindication of their constitutional rights in a state prosecution under an ‘overly broad’ state statute. Id., at 486, 85 S.Ct. 1116. But in this case that risk was faced and resolution of the constitutional issues is being undertaken in the state courts. All that the federal court proposes is protection of respondents against repeated prosecutions, while both the state courts and the federal courts are resolving the constitutional issues.
The Court said that underlying the state case and the federal case is an important First Amendment question. Some people think that ‘obscenity’ is not protected by the Free Speech and Free Press Clauses of the First Amendment. A Suffolk County Criminal Lawyer said they believe that both Congress and the States can set up regimes of censorship to weed out ‘obscenity’ from literature, movies, and other publications so as to rid the press of what they the judges deem to be beyond the pale.
Prior to the Bill of Rights, state law, when it spoke of freedom of the press, meant only freedom from prior restraint. But an author or publishers could be held accountable for publishing what the state house thought was against ‘the public good.’ In other words, the First Amendment did not build on existing law; it broke with tradition, set a new standard, and exalted freedom of expression. There is no trace of a suggestion that ‘obscenity,’ however, defined, was excepted.
The Court said that under the constitutional system neither Congress nor the States have any power to pass on the value, the propriety, the Americanism, the soundness of any idea or expression. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said it is that insulation from party or majoritarian control provided by the First Amendment—not our gross national product or mass production or pesticides or space ships or nuclear arsenal—that distinguishes our society from the other planetary regimes.
In this case a Federal District Court stepped into the middle of a pending state criminal prosecution, rendered an opinion in effect deciding the fundamental constitutional issue in the state case, and enjoined the initiation of new prosecutions of these defendants or the execution of any sentence imposed on them in the pending state case.
Stephen Bilkis and Associates with its New York Criminal Lawyers are willing to provide you assistance on how to invoke your rights enshrined in the statute and constitution, whether you are involved in a white collar crime or drug charges. It has offices conveniently located within New York Metropolitan area.