Marvin Miller was convicted of violating California’s criminal obscenity law when he sent unsolicited mailings advertising the availability of some dirty books and a movie. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld his conviction. This is one of several cases from this era where the Court struggled to define the limits of free speech under the First Amendment.
In this famous case, L. B. Sullivan, a Montgomery, Alabama, City Commissioner, sued the New York Times for libel and won a $500,000 verdict in a state court. The Times had run a paid ad, that contain factual errors, critical of the way Alabama and some of its local police had treated civil rights activists. The Times appealed the half a million dollar verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming its rights protected under the First Amendment had been infringed by the state court ruling. The Supreme Court agreed.