Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Adventures of Larry Flynt

'F*** This Court'

The court appointed an attorney to represent him against his wishes. He asked if he could speak on his own behalf, but they refused to hear him. Fuming in the gallery, Flynt felt that he was being denied his constitutional right to defend himself. He shouted at the justices, "You're nothing but eight assholes and a token cunt!"

Chief Justice Warren Burger
Chief Justice Warren Burger

Chief Justice Warren Burger pointed at him and shouted, "Arrest that man!"

The bailiff wheeled Flynt out of the courtroom, but no one could recall anyone ever having been arrested for contempt of the Supreme Court, and they weren't sure what to do with him. Matters were complicated by the fact that Flynt needed to urinate, and Supreme Court restrooms were not equipped for the handicapped. After a side trip to a nearby hospital where Flynt was able to relieve himself, he was taken to a local courthouse for arraignment. While waiting in a holding cell, he took off his shirt to expose the tee shirt he wore underneath. He had written in block letters across the front: F*** THIS COURT. After a great deal of heated argument with the marshals, Flynt went into court wearing the tee shirt. The judge made no comment and quickly read the charge against him and set bail.

Flynt's attorney, Alan Isaacman, who represented him in most of his cases, had the case moved to California and promised to subpoena all nine Supreme Court justices as witnesses. The Supreme Court eventually sent the Keeton case back to New Hampshire state court, where it "languished for years."

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