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Gitlow v. New York (docket #: 19) (1925)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Gitlow v. New York  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 11/23/1923
Decided 6/8/1925
Supreme Court Vote 7-2
Note Walter Pollak, one of Gitlow's appellate lawyers, also argued Whitney v. California (1927). Dictum in the majority opinion suggested, but did not hold, that the First Amendment applied to the states.
IssueWhether First Amendment free specch clause applies to states & whether state criminal anarchy law violated First Amendment.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Sanford, J.
Dissenting Opinion Holmes, J. (joined by Brandeis, J.)
Lower Court New York Court of Appeals
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
For Petitioner
Walter H. Pollak & Walter Nelles

For Respondent
John Caldwell Myers, W. J. Wetherbee, & Claude T. Dawes

For Petitioner
Walter H. Pollak, Walter Nelles, Albert De Silver & Charles S. Ascher, Brief for Plaintiff-in-Error []

Walter Nelles, Addendum to Brief for Petitioner on Application for Writ of Error []

Walter Nelles, Brief for Petitioner in Support of Application to the Full Court for Writ of Error []

Walter Nelles, Petition for Writ of Error, and Assignment of Errors []

For Respondent
Carl Sherman, Joab H. Banton, John Caldwell Myers & John F. O'Neil, Brief for Defendant-in-Error []

Carl Sherman, W.J. Weatherbee, & Claude T. Dawes, Brief for the State of New York []

Charles D. Newton & Samuel A. Berger, Memorandum of Attorney General of the State of new York in Opposition to Application for Writ of Error []

Opinion - Lower Court
People v. Gitlow, 195 A.D. 773, 187 N.Y.S. 783 (N.Y. App. Div., 1921)
People v. Gitlow, 234 N.Y. 132, 136 N.E. 317 (N.Y., 1922)
People v. Gitlow, City Magistrates' Court, City of New York, November 1919 (before William McAdoo, Chief City Magistrate) (Walter Nelles, for Defendant)
"Benjamin Gitlow is Dead at 73," New York Times, July 20, 1965, p. 33
"Gitlow, Set Free, Rejoins Radicals," New York Times, December 13, 1925, p. 18
"Gitlow is Pardoned by Governor Smith as Punished Enough," New York Times, December 12, 1925, p. 1
"The Gitlow case," The New Republic, July 1, 1925
"Gitlow Loses Fight in Highest Court to Annul Anarchy Law," New York Times, June 9, 1925, p. 1
"‘Free Speech’ Case Up in the Supreme Court," New York Times, November 24, 1923, p. 3
"Gitlow and Larkin Must Serve Terms," New York Times, July 13, 1922, p. 19
"Gitlow’s Anarchy Sentence Affirmed," New York Times, April 21, 1921, p. 4
"Gitlow, Anarchist, Gets Limit Sentence," New York Times, February 12, 1920, p. 15
"Gitlow Convicted in Anarchy Trial," New York Times, February 6, 1920, p. 17
Chafee, Jr., Zechariah, "Walter Heilprin Pollak," The Nation, October 12, 1940, pp. 318-19
"Benjamin Gitlow: 1891-1965," Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 7: 1961-1965. American Council of Learned Sciences, 1981
Akerman, Kenneth D., YOUNG J. EDGAR: HOOVER, THE RED SCARE & THE ASSAULT ON CIVIL LIBERTIES (Carroll & Graff, 2007), pp. 71, 73-80, 82, 119, 128-131, 210, 218, 220-228, 333, 336-337, 343, 388, 397
Emerson, Thomas, THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (1970), pp. 102-105
Gitlow, Benjamin, I Confess: The Truth About American Communism (New York,: E.P. Dutton,1939)
Gitlow, Benjamin, The Whole of Their Lives: Communism in America (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1948)
Josephson, Harold, "Political Justice During the Red Scare: The Trial of Benjamin Gitlow," in American Political Trials, edited by Michal R. Belknap (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981)
Peck, Robert S., "The First Amendment & Advocacy of Violence: An Overview"

Pollak, Louis H. "Advocating Civil Liberties: A Young Lawyer Before the Old Court," 17 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 1 (1982)
Stone, Geoffrey R., Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (Norton, 2004)
Warren, Charles, "The New 'Liberty' under the Fourteenth Amendment," 39 Harvard Law Review 431, 432-433, 455-465 (1925-1926)
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