File - DeLons Notebook

Gitlow v New York
Context of the case:
Gitlow was arrested for distributing copies of a “left-wing manifesto” that wanted an establishment of
socialism through strikes and class action of any form. Gitlow was convicted for anarchy. At his trial
Gitlow argued that since there was no resulting action flowing from the manifesto's publication, the
statute penalized utterences without propensity to incitement of concrete action. The New York courts
had decided that anyone who advocated the doctrine of violent revolution violated the law.
Question before the court:
Is the New York law punishing advocacy to overthrow the government by force an
unconstitutional violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment?
Court’s ruling:
7-2 in the favor of New York
Amendment and/or constitutional clause involved:
1st amendment
Implications of the case socially and politically:
Because of this case, the laws for what can be published and distributed have been more defined.
. A state may not prohibit speech unless it presents a clear and
present danger to the public interest