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Freedom of the ScreenLegal Challenges to State Film Censorship, 1915-1981$
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Laura Wittern-Keller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124513

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124513.001.0001

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The Courts Provide No Relief, 1909–1927

The Courts Provide No Relief, 1909–1927

(p.39) 2 The Courts Provide No Relief, 1909–1927
Freedom of the Screen

Laura Wittern-Keller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the role of the courts in preventing the removal of film censorship and the individuals who challenged this early on. It was in Chicago when the movie censorship law was first challenged in court. Despite arguing that the types of obscenity banned by the courts were not clearly stated, it was effectively countered by Chief Justice James H. Cartwright's judicial philosophy, which stated that the definitions and standards of obscenity were not necessary. This statement prevailed in the courts for 44 years.

Keywords:   courts, film censorship, movie censorship, Chicago, obscenity, James H. Cartwright, judicial philosophy, standards, definitions

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