Attorney. Born– August 23, 1888, Uniontown. Parents– Carl and Sarah (Bernheim) Ernst, Married– (1)Susan Leerburger, 1912 (died 1922); (2) Margaret Samuels, March 1, 1923. Children– Three. Education– Williams College, B.A., 1909; New York Law School, J.D., 1912. Served as treasurer for shirt manufacturer in Brooklyn, 1911-1912; bookkeeper and salesman, 1911-1915, admitted to New York Bar, 1913. Founded and practiced law with firm Greenbaum, Wolff, and Ernst, 1915-1976, specializing in labor, tax, libel, and censorship cases, including the successful defense of James Joyce’s Ulysses and the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act. Held several government posts; special assistant to U.S. Attorney General; personal representative of Franklin Roosevelt abroad during World War II; member of Harry Truman’s Civil Rights Commission. a founding member of the National Civil Liberties Bureau, forerunner of the American Civil Liberties Union, American Political Science Association, American Bar Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Gamma Delta.  Named Lawyer of the Year, 1970, by the New York Bar Association; awarded the French Legion of Honor. Died May 21, 1976.


Contemporary Authors online and Current Biography, 1961.


America’s Primer. New York; Putnam, 1931.

Back and Forth. Mount Vernon, N.Y.; Peter Pauper Press, 1969.

The Best is Yet …. New York; Harper, 1945.

The Comparative International Almanac. New York; Macmillan, 1967.

Confrontation; a Free Press in a Free Society. New York; New York School of Law, 1975.

The First Freedom. New York; Macmillan, 1946.

The Great Reversals. New York; Weybright and Talley, 1973.

Lawyers and What They Do. New York; F. Watts, 1965.

A Love Affair With The Law. New York; Macmillan, 1968.

Pandect of C.L.D. Mount Vernon, N.Y.; Peter Pauper Press, 1965.

Report of Morris L. Ernst (on Anthracite Coal Industry Commission) Submitted to the Governor of Pennsylvania, May 17, 1937. Harrisburg, Pa.; Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Industry Commission, 1937.

So Far, So Good. New York; Harper, 1948.

Too Big. Boston; Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1940.

Touch Wood; a Year’s Diary. New York; Atheneum, 1960.

The Ultimate Power. Garden City, N.Y.; Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1937.

Untitled; the Diary of My 72nd Year. New York; Luce, 1962.

Utopia 1976. New York; Rinehart, 1955.


American Sexual Behavior and the Kinsey Report. New York; Greystone, 1948.

Back and Forth.  Peter Pauper, 1949.

The Censor Marches On. Garden City, N.Y.; Doubleday, Doran, 1940.

Censored; the Private Life of the Movies. New York; Cape and Smith, 1930.

Censorship; the Search for the Obscene. New York; Macmillan, 1964.

For Better or Worse. New York; Harper, 1952.

Hold Your Tongue! New York; William Morrow, 1932.

How High Is Up? Indianapolis, Ind.; Bobbs, 1964.

The People Know Best. Washington, D.C.; Public Affairs Press, 1949.

Privacy; the Right to Be Let Alone. New York; Macmillan, 1962.

Report and Opinion in the Matter of Galindez. New York; s.n., 1958.

Report on the American Communist. New York; Holt, 1952.

The Taming of Technology. New York; Simon and Schuster, 1972.

To the Pure. New York; Viking, 1928.

United States of America, Libellant, Against One Book Entitled Ulysses…. New York; Ballou Press, 1933.


The Teacher. Englewood Cliffs, N.Y.; Prentice-Hall, 1967.

Ulysses.  1942 [author of Foreword].  Modern Library, 1942.


The Sex Life of the Unmarried Adult. New York; Vanguard, 1934.


The papers of Morris Leopold Ernst are held by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.