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1927: Justice Brandeis and the Final End of the State

1927: Justice Brandeis and the Final End of the State

Chapter:
XX. 1927: Justice Brandeis and the Final End of the State
Source:
A Community Built on Words
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226677224.003.0021

In 1927, Justice Louis Brandeis wrote a justly famous opinion, which Justice Holmes joined, concurring in the Court's judgment in Whitney v. California. Whitney sustained a conviction under a California law prohibiting participation in the formation of a society to advocate criminal syndicalism, a concept the legislature defined as “any doctrine or precept advocating, teaching or aiding and abetting the commission of crime, sabotage (which word is hereby defined as meaning willful and malicious physical damage or injury to physical property), or unlawful acts of force and violence or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing a change in industrial ownership or control or effecting any political change.” Brandeis and Holmes thought the conviction a violation of the freedom of speech that the majority had assumed to be protected against state interference by the fourteenth amendment in Gitlow v. New York.

Keywords:   Justice Louis Brandeis, Whitney v. California, California law, conviction, physical damage, freedom of speech

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