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Adler et al. v. Board of Education of the City of New York

Significance, The Feinberg Law


Two parents of school children, and four teachers


New York City Board of Education

Appellants' Claim

The Supreme Court should invalidate the Feinberg Law, which declared it illegal for school teachers to "advocate, advise, teach, or embrace" the overthrow of the government by force and violence.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Osmond K. Fraenkel

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

Michael A Castaldi

Justices for the Court

Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, Robert H. Jackson, Sherman Minton (writing for the Court), Stanley Forman Reed, Fred Moore Vinson

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

3 March 1952


The Court affirmed lower court rulings that the Feinberg Law was constitutional.

Related Cases

  • Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925).
  • United Public Workers v. Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75 (1947).
  • Garner v. Board of Public Works of the City of Los Angeles, 341 U.S. 716 (1951).
  • Keyishian v. Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, 385 U.S. 589 (1967).


Folts, James D. History of the University of the State of New York and the State Education Department, 1784-1996 (1996). http://unix2.nysed.gov.

Further Readings

  • Emerson, Thomas I. The System of Freedom of Expression. New York: Random House, 1970.
  • Kalvern, Harry. A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
  • Wiecek, William. Liberty under Law: The Supreme Court in American Life. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953