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Whitney v. California

Significance, Supreme Court Upholds California Criminal Syndicalism Law, The California Criminal Syndicalism Act, Further Readings


Charlotte Anita Whitney


People of the State of California

Appellant's Claim

That a 1919 California criminal syndicalism law violated the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and association.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Walter H. Pollak, Walter Nelles

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

John H. Riordan, U. S. Webb

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Pierce Butler, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Clark McReynolds, Edward Terry Sanford (writing for the Court), Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland, William Howard Taft, Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 May 1927


The Supreme Court upheld the California law.

Related Cases

  • Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
  • Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951).
  • Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).


Levy, Leonard W., ed. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan, 1986.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940