Redrup v. New York and the end of American censorship

The 1967 Redrup v. New York case is generally considered the end of American censorship. Robert Redrup was a Times Square newsstand clerk who sold two Greenleaf Classics pulp sex novels, Lust Pool [1] and Shame Agent [2] to plainclothes police. He was tried and convicted in 1965.

In true nobrow fashion Hamling did not believe he was selling “commercialized obscenity,” nor would he admit to “titillating the prurient interests of people with a weakness for such expression.” Hamling felt his books were giving people who would never have the skills to read and enjoy Ulysses or Fanny Hill or Naked Lunch what they wanted.

With financial backing from William Hamling, Redrup appealed his case to the Supreme Court where his conviction is over-turned by 7-2. The court’s final ruling on May 8 in 1967 affirmed that materials that were not pandered, sold to minors, or foisted on unwilling audiences were constitutionally protected.

After this decision, the Supreme Court systematically and summarily reversed, without further opinion, scores of obscenity rulings involving paperback sex books, girlie magazines and peep shows.

Tip of the hat to Patrick J. Kearney and thanks to Earl Kemp.

2 thoughts on “Redrup v. New York and the end of American censorship

  1. vanrijngo

    You might say this was the start of something “BIG”. It took awhile but it was off like a flash! Flashing was no longer of that much interest. It was off with everything! Even extra curricular activities in every way imaginable. These were on every news stand, every magazine rack, every cigar store across our great country, even ones Mr. Clinton hung out in,…. and is now some way or another, involve in most all motion pictures, T.V. programming, and advertisings of most all products. This is to captivate the general publics intenseness of their own interests, and needless to say this world of ours is becoming more biblical every day,…. say like the times of Sodom & Gomorra.


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