Ward v. Illinois 431 U.S. 767 (1977)

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WARD v. ILLINOIS 431 U.S. 767 (1977)

The Supreme Court upheld, 5–4, a conviction for selling "sado-masochistic" materials. (See mishkin v. new york.) Justice byron r. white, for the majority, said that a state law could pass the "patent offensiveness" part of the test of miller v. california (1973) although it did not specifically define the proscribed materials; state court interpretations had followed Miller 's guidelines. The dissenters, led by Justice john paul stevens, argued that the absence of the statutory definition specified by Miller left the law unconstitutionally vague.

Kenneth L. Karst