Lamont v. Postmaster General
381 U.S. 301 (1965)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965)

Lamont v. Postmaster General

No. 491

Argued April 26, 1965

Decided May 24, 1965*

381 U.S. 301

Syllabus

These cases challenge the constitutionality of § 305(a) of the Postal Service and Federal Employees Salary Act of 1962, which requires the Postmaster General to detain and deliver only upon the addressee's request unsealed foreign mailings of "communist political propaganda." Under procedure effective March 15, 1965, the Post Office sends to the addressee a card which can be checked to have the mailing delivered. The card states that, if it is not returned within 20 days, it will be assumed that the addressee does not want that publication or any similar one in the future. When the addressee in these cases received the Post Office notices, they sued to enjoin enforcement of the statute.

Held: the Act, as construed and applied, is unconstitutional, since it imposes on the addressee an affirmative obligation which amounts to an unconstitutional limitation of his rights under the First Amendment. Pp. 92 U. S. 305-307.

229 F.Supp. 913, reversed; 235 F.Supp. 405, affirmed.

Page 381 U. S. 302

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