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The Supreme Court: Gitlow v. New York

AP Politics project

Katie Guyot

on 27 January 2013

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Transcript of The Supreme Court: Gitlow v. New York

1925 Gitlow v. New York Benjamin Gitlow: radical socialist and editor of the Left Wing Manifesto Case Overview Background The state of New York charged Gitlow with violating the Criminal Anarchy Act, Let's review the Fourteenth Amendment: "...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." Barron v. Baltimore Opinion of the Court (7-2) Written by Associate Justice Edward T. Sanford Dissenting Opinion Gitlow's message did NOT present a "clear and present danger" to the United States and thus was not in violation of the First Amendment. Benjamin Gitlow was also the business manager of this publication, the Voice of Labor, before he started editing the Revolutionary Age. Federalism and the Fourteenth Amendment Does that mean the Bill of Rights now applies to states? Didn't it already apply to states? Nope. Here's why: This steel man appears to be stomping on the state of Kansas. This is a time machine. We're going back to 1833. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. We're going back to 1925 now. Here's a question to ponder while we're in transit: Does the Fourteenth Amendment force states to obey the First Amendment's guarantee of the freedom of speech and press, as Benjamin Gitlow claimed? (The answer is yes.) But Gitlow was still declared guilty of violating the Criminal Anarchy Act. 1. "...[F]reedom of speech and of the press--which are protected by the First Amendment from abridgement by Congress--are among the fundamental personal rights and 'liberties' protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." 2. However, the First Amendment does not protect "utterances inimical to the public welfare, tending to corrupt public morals, incite to crime, or disturb the public peace..." Written by Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes "Every idea is an incitement." Gitlow v. New York began the judicial process of incorporation. One by one, the Supreme Court has been applying the Bill of Rights to the states, Today, almost all of the Bill of Rights have been incorporated. civil liberties Kansas State Capitol Modern Implications of Selective Incorporation While this couple is visiting the Supreme Court, the state of Wisconsin can't search their house for illegally trafficked truffles from France without a warrant (Fourth Amendment). If these college students are arrested under a state law but can't afford a lawyer because they're unemployed college students, their state of Massachusetts is required to provide them with an attorney (Sixth Amendment). Ladies and gentlemen, please move on to the next case. Yates v. United States (1957):
invalidated the conviction of certain Communists under the Smith Act
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1967):
invalidated the conviction of a leader of the KKK under a similar law Dreaming of the violent overthrow of the government... What about the Fourteenth Amendment?
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