389 U.S. 918 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

FORT v. CITY OF MIAMI. , 389 U.S. 918 (1967)

389 U.S. 918

Marcel FORT, petitioner,
No. 91

Supreme Court of the United States

October 23, 1967

Rehearing Denied Dec. 4, 1967.

See 389 U.S. 997.

Irma Robbins Feder and Richard Yale Feder, for petitioner.

Jack R. Rice, Jr., for respondent.

Petition for writ of certiorari to the District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.


Mr. Justice STEWART, with whom Mr. Justice BLACK and Mr. Justice DOUGLAS join, dissenting.

The petitioner created six fiberglass statues which he offered for sale in his backyard. Two police officers approached his home, confiscated the statues, and arrested him for violating a municipal ordinance that prohibits the knowing possession of obscene figures or images for sale. [Footnote 1]

The petitioner was convicted, his conviction was affirmed, and the Florida District Court of Appeal denied certiorari. Unable to obtain review in any higher Florida court,2 he brought to this Court the federal

Page 389 U.S. 918 , 919

constitutional claims he had unsuccessfully advanced at every stage of the state litigation.

It is clear that the ordinance under which he was convicted is unconstitutional on its face. That ordinance adopts the definition of obscenity embodied in a Florida statute:3

Members of this Court have expressed differing views as to the extent of a State's power to suppress 'obscene' material through criminal or civil proceedings. But it is at least established that a State is without power to do so upon the sole ground that the material 'appeals to prurient interest.'4

The petitioner in this case was charged, tried, and convicted under a statutory provision which contains no [389 U.S. 918 , 920]

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