Freedom of Speech History of Case Gitlow Essay

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Freedom of Speech

History of Case Gitlow v. New York

Gitlow v.New York was a decision that was made by the supreme court of the United States on June 8, 1925 which ruled that the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States extended the reach of limitations of the federal government authority that that had been set in the First amendment. The specific provisions were protection of freedom of speech and that of press to governments of individuals in the state on New York. It was just among a series of supreme court cases that were used to define the scope of the first amendment protecting freedom of speech and establishment of standards to which federal government or state would be held in case it is criminalized writing or speech (Digital History, 2013).

People involved in the case

The case was against a member of the socialist party of America; Benjamin Gitlow had served in the New York State Assembly and the state of New York. John Caldwell Myers, the Assistant District Attorney of the New York and W.J Weatherrbee were fighting with the New York against Gitlow. On the other hand Gitlow was represented by Walter Pollack (Tangient LLC, 2013).

The case

Gitlow had been charged with criminal anarchy for publishing a document known as Left Wing Manifesto in a newspaper the revolutionary age where he was the business manager. The published copies that were in circulation were about 16,000.He had been charged with making attempts of overthrowing the government of the United States .in the constitution the case includes the fourth and fourteenth amendments.
Gitlow argued that his first amendment right was being violated since t gave him the right to print what he had printed. He also argued that the fourteenth amendment said that nothing can take it from him. In his defense Gitlow's attorney argued that there was no evidence that could prove his pamphlets had any influence on the public.

According to the first amendment congress was not in a position to create any laws that abridges the freedom of speech while the fourteenth amendment accords rights, privileges and immunity to citizens. This was an upright violation of the fourteenth amendment since the state denied him freedom of press or speech. Gitlow's conviction as upheld by the court was on the basis that the government may suppress or punish any form of speech that suppresses or punishes. The pamphlets were perceived to be encouraging the beliefs that he had on socialism in the country.

Gitlow won the case by 7-2 vote. It was argued that freedom of speech and press was among the fundamental rights of a person and liberties that were protected by the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment (Casebriefs LLC,(2013).The statute prohibiting such activities did not deprive Gitlow his first amendment constitutional right to the freedom of expression. The current statute is not unreasonable or an arbitrary means of the exercising of the states power of the police.

The state….....

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