American Booksellers Association, Inc. v. McAuliffe

533 F. Supp. 50 (N.D. Ga. 1981)

Summary:
The United States District Court struck down Georgia’s law restricting the display of material with sexual content on its cover or in its contents as a violation of the First Amendment.

History:
Georgia amended its law to restrict the sale or display to minors of material that depicts or describes nudity or sexual activity. Media Coalition filed a complaint on behalf of some of its members, retailers, periodical distributors and other trade associations, arguing that the law is overbroad, vague, places prior restraint on speech and infringes upon the First Amendment rights of adults.

On October 23, 1981, U.S. District Court Judge Horace T. Ward of the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held [1] that Georgia’s law [2] restricting the display of material with sexual content on its cover or in its contents violated the First Amendment rights of adults and minors. The Court ruled that the statute is overbroad because it does not incorporate any part of the of the three pronged test for obscenity for minors in Ginsberg v. New York as modified in Miller v. California. The Court also found that the statute was unconstitutionally vague because it failed to define numerous terms that describe material that would be proscribed under the law.

Plaintiffs:
American Booksellers Association, Association of American Publishers, Council for Periodical Distributors Association, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, Atlantic Coast Independent Distributors Association, Georgia Retail Association, Georgia Association of Convenience Stores, Georgia Grocers Association