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Judge Says Officials Can't Bar Drawings of Nudes in Exhibit

February 18, 1988|Associated Press

SCRANTON, Pa. — Nude drawings of women that county officials ordered removed from a courthouse gallery cannot be barred from the exhibit, a federal judge ruled today.

Judge Edwin M. Kosik's order allows the works by artist Joseph Ray to be hung immediately.

"This is what makes us different from the Soviet Union. We're not supposed to have Big Brother saying, 'You can look at landscapes, and you can't look at nudes,' " said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Stefan Presser.

Ray, an East Stroudsburg artist and psychology professor, hung the nudes in a display of 50 charcoal drawings Feb. 5. The show at the courthouse lasts until Feb. 26.

Monroe County commissioners and Presiding Judge James R. Marsh objected to the nudes, and Ray agreed to remove them because he did not want to jeopardize the rest of the exhibit. But he sued county officials, citing his rights under the First and 14th amendments.

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