RESPONDENT:Minnesota ex rel. Olson
DOCKET NO.: 91
DECIDED BY: Hughes Court (1930-1932)
LOWER COURT: Minnesota Supreme Court
ARGUED: Jan 30, 1930
DECIDED: Jun 01, 1931
Arthur L. Markve – for Olson
James E. Markham – Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota, for Minnesota
Weymouth Kirkland – for Near
Facts of the case
Jay Near published a scandal sheet in Minneapolis, in which he attacked local officials, charging that they were implicated with gangsters. Minnesota officials obtained an injunction to prevent Near from publishing his newspaper under a state law that allowed such action against periodicals. The law provided that any person “engaged in the business” of regularly publishing or circulating an “obscene, lewd, and lascivious” or a “malicious, scandalous and defamatory” newspaper or periodical was guilty of a nuisance, and could be enjoined (stopped) from further committing or maintaining the nuisance.
Does the Minnesota “gag law” violate the free press provision of the First Amendment?