On This Date in Legal History

The case of Gitlow v. New York was argued before the United States Supreme Court on April 12, 1923. The underlying facts were as follows– Benjamin Gitlow, an active member of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party, arranged for the printing and distribution of an essay, “The Left Wing Manifesto.” A jury convicted him under a New York Penal Code statute that prohibited “criminal anarchy”. Gitlow appealed his conviction alleging that the New York law was unconstitutional, but on June 8, 1925, the Supreme Court held otherwise.


Justice Edward T. Sanford was on the Supreme Court from Feb 19, 1923 — Mar 8, 1930

Justice Edward T. Sanford, who delivered the opinion of the Court explained, “the Constitution, does not confer an absolute right to speak or publish, without responsibility, whatever one may choose, or an unrestricted and unbridled license that gives immunity for every possible use of language and prevents the punishment of those who abuse this freedom.” Notably, the law in this area has evolved. You might want to read Brandenburg v. Ohio at https://goo.gl/gfmRNZ.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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