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Speech We Loathe Is Speech We Must Defend

Posted on AllSides July 12th, 2023
From The Right
Karsten Moran for The New York Times

In the late 1950s, the Rhode Island legislature created a commission “to encourage morality in youth.” One of its practices was to send notices to out-of-state distributors and retailers of publications it deemed obscene, asking for “cooperation” in suppressing them. The notices warned that the commission had circulated lists of objectionable materials to local police departments, and that it would recommend prosecution against those found to be purveying obscenity.

Four publishers sued. The case went to the Supreme Court. With one dissent, the justices in Bantam Books Inc. v. Sullivan (1963) held that the...

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