Stanley v. Georgia Case Brief

Summary of Stanley v. Georgia (1969)

Police searching home for gambling stuff and find obscene/dirty videos in the home. Prosecuted for possession of videos.

Held: Unconstitutional. Individuals have the right to do whatever in their own private space

(1) This implicates the personal autonomy value [inherent in the 1st A].

(2) Imposes a BALANCE on Chaplinsky

(a) Rationale: Ideas don’t just happen. Notion of thinking about things, especially in solitude

(b) Sorta like human rights law: concept of the liberty of conscience

(c) Also like Thurgood Marshall’s idea: We have the ability to form our own ideas/thoughts/values before engaging in the marketplace

(d) Like lawrence v. tx: what happens in one’s own bedroom is not the court’s business.


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