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Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Concerning Indecent Publications in the District of Columbia.

October 19, 1962

[Released October 19, 1962. Dated October 18, 1962]

I AM withholding my approval of H.R. 4670, a bill "To amend the law relating to indecent publications in the District of Columbia."

Although I am in complete accord with the Congress that the people of the District of Columbia should adequately be protected against the dissemination of indecent and obscene publications and articles, there are grave constitutional and other considerations which have been called to my attention which compel me to withhold my approval of the legislation.

Among other things, my attention has been directed to the 1961 Supreme Court decision in Marcus v. Search Warrant, reported at page 717 of volume 367 of the United States Reports, which seems clearly to make the search and seizure provisions of this bill unconstitutional.

The 88th Congress will convene in less than three months and I am convinced it is desirable that the considerations which have been brought to my attention should be brought to its attention. Such a brief delay in the enactment of this legislation seems a small price to pay in order to obtain an enforceable law which will achieve the worthy objectives which prompted the bill before me.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

John F. Kennedy, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Concerning Indecent Publications in the District of Columbia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236334

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