Years before his inquiry into the Kennedy assassination, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison first captured the national spotlight in late 1962, when he launched a series of raids on French Quarter strip clubs and bars. Even more extraordinary than the vice raids themselves was Garrison's verbal feud with Orleans Parish's criminal court judges, whom he accused of restricting funds for his raids due to their ties to organized crime. Convicted of defaming the jurists, Garrison took his crusade from the back booths of Bourbon Street bars to the marbled confines of the United States Supreme Court. In 1964 a unanimous court ruled that an individual's freedom to criticize elected judges and other public officials was not only protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, but that it was "the essence of self-government." Jim Garrison's Bourbon Street Brawl is the first full-length examination of this fundamental legal precedent.