The Supreme Court per curiam opinion in Gelling v. Texas, 343 U.S. 960 (1952), reversed a Texas court decision upholding the conviction of W. L. Gelling, who showed an unnamed motion picture after the Board of Censors of Marshall, Texas, prohibited it. The Court simply relied on its First Amendment precedents in Burstyn v.Wilson (1952) and Winters v. New York (1948).

In a brief concurring opinion, Justice Felix Frankfurter said the law violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because of its “indefiniteness.” In a separate concurrence, Justice William O. Douglas further tied the actions of the Texas censors to the “evil of prior restraint,” which the Court had condemned in Near v. Minnesota (1931) and in Burstyn.

Send Feedback on this article