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Brown v. Louisiana

Significance, Impact


Henry Brown


State of Louisiana

Petitioner's Claim

A breach of the peace statute that banned Louisiana residents from protesting in public facilities was unconstitutional because it violated the freedom of speech and assembly rights (First and Fourteenth Amendments) of five protesters.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Carl Rachlin

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Richard Kilbourne

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas (writing for the Court), Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, Tom C. Clark, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 February 1966


Reversed the conviction of five men arrested after staging a protest in a public library over its policy of serving whites only.

Related Cases

  • Garner v. Louisiana, 368 U.S. 157 (1961).
  • Taylor v. Louisiana, 370 U.S. 154 (1962).
  • Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536 (1965).
  • Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966).
  • Grayned v. Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972).
  • Greer v. Spock, 424 U.S. 828 (1976).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997.
  • Gunther, Gerald and Kathleen Sullivan. Constitutional Law 13th ed. New York: The Foundation Press Inc., 1997.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. 1992.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972