The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America

By Richard C. Cortner | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
The Appeal to the Supreme Court

Of all the forces that conspired, incited and urged the removal of Huey P. Long from politics in Louisiana there is none whose hands are so stained with his blood as the daily newspapers of Louisiana. The people know only too well now, and it will never be forgotten as long as decent people dwell in Louisiana, that these very newspapers exposed Huey Long to the death he experienced.

--American Progress, October 24, 1935

Huey Long was a Hitler in every sense but one. Hitler controls the press of Germany. Huey Long did not control the press of Louisiana, and, in particular, he did not control the more influential papers. He knew, and so did every intelligent citizen of Louisiana, that in that fact, and in that fact alone, lay the possibility of his overthrow.

--Chicago Tribune, February 12, 1936

◆ Between the Civil War and the 1920s, the United States Supreme Court periodically faced burdensome caseloads that threatened to impede the performance of its function within the governmental system. When Melville W. Fuller became chief justice in 1888, for example, the Court had a three-year backlog of cases pending on its docket because litigants were appealing more cases to the Court than it could possibly decide during each term. Congress finally responded to the Court's plight by passing the U.S. courts of appeals act in 1891, creating intermediate courts of appeals to hear appeals of cases from the lower federal courts before they reached the Supreme Court. If litigants had one appellate review of lower federal court decisions at a level below the

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The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Notes xiv
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction: Huey Long, the Press, and the First Amendment in 1930 1
  • Notes 16
  • Chapter 2 - The Kingfish and the "Lying Newspapers" of Louisiana 19
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 3 - The Kingfish Goes National 47
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter 4 - Guiding the Newspapers in the "Path of Rectitude": Censorship by Taxation 67
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 5 - The Press Counterattacks 95
  • Notes 116
  • Chapter 6 - The Grosjean Case before the Three-Judge Court 119
  • Notes 148
  • Chapter 7 - The Appeal to the Supreme Court 149
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter 8 - Epilogue 175
  • Notes 185
  • Bibliographical Essay 187
  • Index 191
  • About the Author 197
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