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Gitlow v. New York

Significance, Victory For Free Speech, Criminal Anarchy


Benjamin Gitlow, publisher of The Revolutionary Age newspaper


State of New York

Petitioner's Claim

That a statute making a crime of anarchy violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Walter Nelles and Walter H. Pollak

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

W.J. Weatherbee, Deputy Attorney General of New York, and John Caldwell Myers, Assistant District Attorney of New York County

Justices for the Court

Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds, Edward Terry Sanford (writing for the Court), Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland, William Howard Taft, Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting

Louis D. Brandeis, Oliver Wendell Holmes


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

8 June 1925


Found Gitlow's conviction was constitutional.

Related Cases

  • Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931).
  • Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942).
  • Feiner v. New York, 340 U.S. 315 (1951).
  • Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951).
  • Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809 (1975).
  • R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992).


Murray, Robert K. Red Scare: A Study of National Hysteria, 1919-1920. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964.

Further Readings

  • Harvard Civil Rights--Civil Liberties Law Review, spring 1982, p. 1.
  • Harvard Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 431.
  • Johnson, John W., ed. Historic U.S. Court Cases, 1690-1990: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
  • New York University Law Review, May 1994, p. 421.
  • Yale Law Journal, Vol. 35, p. 108.

Additional topics

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