Interpreting the First Amendment
DOI link for Interpreting the First Amendment
Interpreting the First Amendment book
Although the Star Chamber ceased to exist in 1641, the English Parliament continued to harass printers and publishers through the Stationers’ Company and other forms of licensing. No work could be printed legally without the approval of the stationers, who issued licenses. e stationers served as absolute censors and refused to allow publication of material deemed off ensive to them. It should be noted that this concept of censorship is not limited to archaic or authoritarian governments. In spite of the First Amendment, censorship of this kind can be found as late as the 1960s in the United States. Some American cities had fi lm licensing boards that
screened motion pictures to determine their suitability for exhibition. Many of these licensing boards exercised capricious judgment and refused to grant exhibition licenses for a variety of reasons. For example, the one-person licensing board in Memphis, Tennessee, refused to allow theaters in that city to show Ingrid Bergman fi lms, noting that her “soul was as black as the soot of hell.” 2 e censor found Miss Bergman’s bearing of a child out of wedlock to be morally reprehensible.