Bay News v. Freda Roberts, Tax Collector of Mobile County, Alabama

Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, 1980


The Alabama Circuit Court struck down a Mobile County tax on magazines that depicted nudity.

Case history

In the summer of 1979, Media Coalition brought a lawsuit on behalf of Bay News Company, challenging Alabama House Bill 993. The law, signed on July 18, 1979, imposed a 50-cent tax on magazines sold in Mobile County, Alabama that depicted nudity.

On September 21, 1979, the Alabama Circuit Court issued a preliminary injunction against the tax.

On March 25, 1980, Alabama Circuit Judge Ferrill McRae struck down [1] Alabama’s tax on certain magazines as unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution.


Bay News Company

Last updated: Aug 5, 2015