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Whitney v. California (docket #: 3) (1927)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Whitney v. California  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 03/18/1926
Decided 5/16/1927
Supreme Court Vote 9-0
Note Earl Warren, a district attorney in Alameda County in the 1920s, was involved in the Whitney case. Also noteworthy: Walter Pollak & Walter Nelles, lawyers for Charlotte A. Whitney, likewise represented Benjamin Gitlow in Gitlow v. New York (1925)
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
IssueWhether California's criminal syndicalism law that made it a crime to defend, advocate, or establish an organization committed to violent means of effecting government change violated the First Amendment.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Sanford, J.
Concurring Opinion Brandeis, J. (joined by Holmes, J.)
Lower Court California Court of Appeals
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
For Petitioner
Walter H. Pollak & Walter Nelles, both of New York City

For Respondent
John H. Riordan & U. S. Webb, both of San Francisco, California

For Petitioner
Appendix to Petition for Rehearing []

Brief of Plaintiff in Error []

Copy of Plaintiff in Error's Petition for a Rehearing by the Supreme Court of California, Printed as Part of the Record by Order of the Supreme Court of the United States, February 1, 1926 []

Petition for Rehearing []

For Respondent
Brief of Defendant in Error []

Brief of Defendant in Error on Rehearing []

Supplementary Brief for Plaintiff in Error Showing that Due Process and Equal Protection Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution were Invoked in the California District Court of Appeal and there Denied []

News Stories & Commentary
"The Jailing of Anita Whitney," Literary Digest, November 14, 1925, p. 14
"The Pardon of Anita Whitney," The New Republic, August 10, 1927, p. 310
Editorial, Washington Post, "'Free Speech' Criminals," May 18, 1927, p. 6
New York Times, "Charlotte Anita Whitney Dies; Socially Prominent Communist," February 5, 1955, p. 15
New York Times, "Miss Whitney Won't Ask Pardon," May 17, 1927, p. 31.
New York Times, "Plead for Anita Whitney," October 21, 1925, p. 25
New York Times, "Woman Syndicalist Will Not Seek Pardon," October 22, 1925, p. 27
Porter, "The Case of Anita Whitney," The New Republic, July 6, 1921, p. 165
Washington Post, "Communist's Trial Delayed," June 4, 1935, p. 2
Washington Post, "Miss Whitney Granted Pardon in California," June 21, 1927, p. 1
Washington Post, "State Syndicalism Law is Held Valid by Supreme Court," May 17, 1927, p. 4
Opinion - Lower Court
People v. Whitney, 57 Cal. App. 449 (1922)
People v. Whitney, 57 Cal. App. 449, 207 P. 698 (1922)
Whitney v. California, 269 U.S. 530 (1925)
Bhagwat, Ashutosh, "The Story of Whitney v. California: The Power of Ideas," in CONSTITUTIONAL LAW STORIES (Foundation Press, 2004), edited by Michael C. Dorf
Blasi, Vincent, "The First Amendment & the Ideal of Civic Courage: The Brandeis Opinion in Whitney v. California," 29 William & Mary Law Review 653 (1988)
Bobertz, Bradley, "The Brandeis Gambit: The Making of America's 'First Freedom,' 1909-1931," 40 William & Mary Law Review 557 (1999)
Cole, David, "Agon at Agora: Creative Misreadings in the First Amendment Tradition," 95 Yale L.J. 857, 875-892 (1986)
Collins, Ronald & Skover, David, "Curious Concurrence: Brandeis' Vote in Whitney v. California," 2005 Supreme Court Review 333

Comment, "Criminal Law: Criminal Syndicalism: Red Flag: History of Enforcement in California," 19 California Law Review 64 (1930)
Cover, Robert, "The Left, the Right, and the First Amendment: 1918-1928," 40 maryland Law Review 349 (1981)
Dee, Juliet, "Whitney v. California, in FREE SPEECH ON TRIAL (2003), Richard A. Parker, ed., pp. 36-51
Emerson, Thomas, THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (1970), pp. 102, 105-107
Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (Norton, 2004)
Rabban, David, FREE SPEECH IN ITS FORGOTTEN YEARS (1997), pp. 365-372
Robert S. Peck, "The First Amendment & Advocacy of Violence: An Overview"

Rubens, Lisa, "The Patrician Radical: Charolotte Anita Whitney," 65 California History 158 (1986)
Smolla, Rodney, SMOLLA & NIMMER ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH (1994), sect. 4.01[3][c]
Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2nd ed., 1988), pp. 844-45
Overruled By Brandenburg v. Ohio
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