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STRAUS v. GILBERT

June 11, 1968

Nathan STRAUS, Plaintiff,
v.
Jacob H. GILBERT, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOTLEY

Memorandum Opinion

 MOTLEY, District Judge.

 Plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant, his agents, servants and/or employees from sending free pursuant to the franking privilege, 39 U.S.C. § 4161 et seq., a) any mail sent to postal patrons or residents of the 22nd Congressional District until such time as they become part of the 22nd Congressional District pursuant to state law (January 1, 1969); b) the Congressional Record unless it is reprinted exactly and without variation or additions; and c) the Congressional Record, or any part or reprint thereof, in which there has been inserted material primarily for the purpose of campaigning in the Democratic primary. The motion is denied.

 Defendant is a member of Congress seeking reelection. Plaintiff is his opponent in the Democratic primary. Defendant has utilized the franking privilege to send three letters to

 
"Postal Patron -- Local
 
22nd Congressional District
 
Bronx, New York."
 
Each of the three letters mailed by defendant contained a letter reprinted from the Congressional Record. In all the type has been reset to be more legible. Two of the letters also contain photographs of Congressman Gilbert. One letter, the first, contains a covering letter introducing the Congressman to the recipient and offering assistance.

 This court has jurisdiction over this controversy, it would appear, under 28 U.S.C. § 1339 which provides:

 
"The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to the postal service."

 The franking privilege is governed by acts regulating the postal service. Public Law 86-682, 74 Stat. 578.

 Title 39 U.S.C. § 4163 provides that:

 
"Members of Congress may send as franked mail the Congressional Record, or any part thereof, or speeches or reports therein contained."

 This statute should be dispositive of this controversy. This court does not read this statute as requiring exact duplication of the Congressional Record without variance. Neither do we believe that inserting a covering letter nor the addition of ...


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