Fortas Critics Armed With 'Flaming Creatures'
By Robert Lewis
' News Washington Bureau'
WASHINGTON — An under-
ground film seized 18 months
age on the University of Mich-
igan campus because of alleged
obscenity is the newest weapon
in the arsenal of Justice V'-
For'tas' Senate critics.
The film, "Flaming C na-
tures," was brought here by
Ann Arbor Police Tuesday for a
private showing before a small
group of senators headed by
Judiciary Committee Chairman
James 0. Eastland, D-Miss.
Eastland said he would have
no comment on his reaction to
the film, which figured in last
week's hearings on the confir- senators who viewed the film
mation of Fortas as Chief Jus- included Russell B . Long,
tice of the U. S. Supreme Court. D-La.: Jack Miller, R-Iowa,
But other sources said the and Gale W. McGee, D-Wyo.
film was regarded as important Judiciary Committee aides
enough in the anti-Fortas cam- took sworn statements yester-
paign so that a copy of it 'might day from Ann Arbor Police
made for future use of theichief Walter Krasny and Detec-
.idiciary Committee. |tiv° Ll. Eugene Staudenmaier,
Eastland did say that the til m| who flew here with the film at
is now part of the committee's committee expense.
record. The movie was seized Jan.
Sen. John L. M c del 1 an ,18, 196" v.-'irn it was being
D-Ark., termed the film "crude shown 'J-M campus by
vulgarity." Cinema liiiiu-a student organi-
Eastland and McClellan were'TfttioBi TMi'pTstudent officers of
the only Judiciary Committee the group and the faculty advis-
members present.. but other er were arrested on obscenity
charges. One of the students the Supreme Co'urt's guidelines, representing sexual mattersjwils not within the court's 1957 Staff members closeted ^iem-
pleaded guilty to being a disor- Chief Justice Earl Warren, and whether to the average definition of pornography, selves with the Ann Arbor offi-
derly person by showing who has been identified with person, applying contemporary The showing of the film in a cials for more than three hours
obscene movies. The other the high court's liberalization!c0 m i""11111^ s t a n d a r d s , the second story chamber of the in the morning. Part of the
defendants were released. !of obscenity laws. disagreed^01111"6111 tt\em<^ of the material New Senate Office Building was time was spent viewing the 45-
Thc same movie figured in a with Fortas' itakec as a whole appeals to one c.f the best kept secrets on minute movie and part of the
June 12, 1967, U. S. Supreme "i am satisfied that these i131'111'1601 interests-' [Capitol Hill yesterday, time was devoted to taking
Court decision which dismissed convictions should be affirmed "; "This film falls outside the Committee aides, miffed that their statements.
an appeal by ' "•" \ew York Warren wrote. "Under the ^"g6 of expression protected Ann Arbor offiicals had dis- The Judiciarv Committee was
men who wcr cted of standards set forth by the court b Y t h e First Amendment closed they had been asked tolscheduled to meet in closed ses-
obscenity charges :i.,r showing in Roth vs. U. S. this film is not according to the criteria set out bring the film to Washington, sio'i today to consider the next
the film in a commercial theat- within the protections cf the in ^oth," Warren wrote. I refused to give out advance step in the Fortas case. It was
er. . first amendment. We formulat- Senate Judiciary Committee word. on what was planned for unclear whether Fortas backers
In that case, Fortas said he ed the test in that case as being members, who are considering, the tntr1- would push for committee
would have reversed the lower whether the material was utter- President Johnson's nomination A committee aide said Ann approval of his nomination this
court conviction, apparently ly without social value, whetheric'f Fortas as chief justice. Arbor police were requested to week, or wait until September
because he felt "^"'•'"Tng Crea- it v/ent substantially beyond wanted to see for themselves provide the film because New when the Senate returns from a
tures" was no' - under customary limits of candor the kind of film Fortas believed York police noJonge" have it. month-long recess.
Ann Arbor Film Festival
University of Michigan – Campus
University of Michigan Cinema Guild (Film Group)
United States Supreme Court
United States Senate Judiciary Committee
The Flaming Creatures (Film)
Ann Arbor Police Department
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Ann Arbor News
Washington D. C.
New Senate Office Building