Hicks v. Miranda

LOCATION: Harris County Commissioners Court

DOCKET NO.: 74-156
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 422 US 332 (1975)
ARGUED: Mar 24, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 24, 1975

Arlo E. Smith - for appellants
Oretta D. Sears - for appellants
Stanley Fleishman - for appellees
Sam Rosenwein - for appellees

Facts of the case


Media for Hicks v. Miranda

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 24, 1975 in Hicks v. Miranda

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 24, 1975 in Hicks v. Miranda

Byron R. White:

In 74-156, Hicks against Miranda.

A three-judge District Court for the Central District of California entertained a suit to declare the California obscenity statute unconstitutional and to enjoin its operation in certain respects.

The Court refused to grant a motion to dismiss which was filed under Younger v. Harris and which asserted that criminal prosecutions against the federal plaintiffs were then pending in the state courts.

The District Court also concluded that it was not bound by cases in which this Court had dismissed an appeal for a want of a substantial federal question.

The Court then reached the merits and declared the California statute unconstitutional.

We noted probable jurisdiction and now reverse the District Court.

As explained in the opinion we have filed, we overrule objections which have been asserted to our jurisdiction include that the District Court should have dismissed the case under Younger v. Harris and make clear that the District Court was indeed bound by our summary dismissals of appeals for want of a substantial federal question.

The Chief Justice has filed a concurring statement.

Mr. Justice Stewart has filed a dissenting opinion in which Justices Douglas, Marshall and Brennan have joined.