1965 May 24

Supreme Court Strikes Down Postal Censorship Law

 

In Lamont v. Postmaster General, decided on this day, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that allowed the Post Office to deliver foreign “communist political propaganda” only upon the request of the recipient. The Court unanimously held the law to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

Corliss Lamont, who had challenged the Post Office restrictions, was a longtime civil libertarian and served for many years on the ACLU Board of Directors. He founded the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee on October 8, 1951, and was denied a passport because of his political views on October 15, 1951.

The Court: “. . . an unconstitutional limitation of his rights under the First Amendment.”

Watch a 1952 interview with Lamont: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBnUXr9HWhM

Learn more about Lamont: Corliss Lamont, Yes to Life: A Memoir (1981)

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!