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PEREZ V. LEDESMA, 401 U. S. 82 (1971)

U.S. Supreme Court

Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82 (1971)

Perez v. Ledesma

No. 60

Argued November 17, 1970

Decided February 23, 1971

401 U.S. 82


Appellees, who had been arrested and charged with violating a Louisiana statute and a parish ordinance by displaying for sale allegedly obscene material (which was seized by the arresting officers), brought this suit in the Federal District Court for a declaration that the statute and ordinance were unconstitutional, and for an injunction against their enforcement. A three-judge court which was convened upheld the statute and declined to issue an injunction, but, finding that the arrests and seizure were invalid, entered a suppression order prohibiting the use in state criminal proceedings of the illegally seized material and requiring its return to appellees. The three-judge court recognized that it had no jurisdiction to pass on the constitutionality of the ordinance, but expressed the view that the ordinance was invalid. The single-judge court then declared the ordinance unconstitutional. Appellants appealed directly to this Court from the suppression order and the declaratory judgment invalidating the ordinance.


1. The three-judge court erred in issuing the suppression order, and thereby stifling the then-pending good faith state criminal proceeding during which the defense should first raise its constitutional claims. Younger v. Harris, ante, p. 401 U. S. 37. Pp. 401 U. S. 84-85.

2. This Court has no jurisdiction to review on direct appeal the validity of the order declaring the ordinance invalid, since it was a decision of a single federal judge, and, as such, was appealable only to the Court of Appeals. Pp. 401 U. S. 86-88.

304 F.Supp. 662, reversed in part, and vacated and remanded in part.

BLACK, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and HARLAN, STEWART, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which BLACKMUN, J., joined, post, p. 401 U. S. 89. DOUGLAS, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, post, p. 401 U. S. 90. BRENNAN, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which WHITE and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 401 U. S. 93.

Page 401 U. S. 83

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