Hi, The Gitlow case involved a situation where an American socialist published a pamphlet that argued for the overthrow of the U.S. government. A NY law made it illegal for anyone to advocate for the overthrow of the government and Gitlow argued that the law, because it prevented him or anyone else from speaking their minds, was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, however, said that because the actions of Gitlow in asking people to overthrow the government created a potential for "public danger," even if no one had acted on his encouragement, his words did not deserve the protection of the First Amendment. That is what the Gitlow case is about, understanding what the First Amendment protects and what it does not (be aware, however, that this was a 1925 case and later Supreme Court cases have changed or overturned this case's decision). Sedition means any action a person engages in that is designed to enocurage or support others in their refusal to obey legal authority (such as supporting public refusal to obey police orders, court orders, or the orders of a king or President.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX helpful, but you warn that this case was from 1925 and there have been later cases that have changed or overturned the decisions in the Gitlow v. New York case. What are some of those cases?
The current rule about what is considered First Amendment protected speech and what is outside the First Amendment now comes from the Brandenburg v. Ohio case of 1969
- that is for language that may incite people to violence. There are cases about what is protected or not in terms of business language, religion, and many other issues.
While the Gitlow decision said any language that could lead people to violence was not protected, Brandenburg said only language that could incite and was likely to incite "imminent" violence or illegal actioin was not protected by the First Amendment. This is why many hate groups are allowed to speak and post very ugly things - it is only when such langauge crosses the point of being ugly and can actually be said to inspire people to become violent or take illegal action that it, according to Brandenburg, becomes unprotected by the First Amendment.
Good Morning Jane,
I have a new question in ref to this same informaton. I have a new class assignment to come up with a 2100 word essay in which I need to identify and discuss three separate events or legal developments involving the treatment of sedition in the American judicial system. I will the use the one about Gitlow v. New York that I researched earlier. I need two more. I know you said G v. N.Y was in the 1925 so, can you help me identify more recent cases?
I also see info above about Brandenburg v. Ohio case, the case from 1969. I can use that as my second one. Can you give me more detailed information about that case?
So I will use Gitlow v New York, Brandenburg v. Ohio and I need at least one more case. Can you help me find another case and help me with detailed info?
Can you also post refrences for each so that I can look them other for further research so that I can write my essay. Thank you
I will research a little bit and try to find a few cases for you so you can have a choice of those you find most interesting. Brandenburg is the current view on the subject, so it is a good way to end, but there have been other interpretations of what sedition is that you should know about. I will include references and try to find some good articles that can help you better understand them.
I am trying to get it as soon as I can, but at the latest it will be by 6PM CST for you.