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Yates v. United States

Significance, Advocating Government Overthrow, Further Readings


Oleta O'Connor Yates


United States

Petitioner's Claim

That advocacy of future overthrow of the government is protected by the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Ben Margolis

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Philip R. Monahan

Justices for the Court

Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan II (writing for the Court), Earl Warren

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas, (William J. Brennan, Jr., and Charles Evans Whittaker did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 June 1957


The Supreme Court struck down the convictions of five of the appellants and referred the cases of the other nine (all were Communist Party leaders) back to the lower courts for retrial.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962