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Stromberg v. California

Significance, Court Overturns Conviction Under "red Flag Law", Anarchistic Legislation: Red Flag Laws


Yetta Stromberg


State of California

Appellant's Claim

That the California Red Flag Law prohibits symbolic speech and therefore violates the First Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

John Beardsley

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

John D. Richer

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Evans Hughes (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter, James Clark McReynolds, Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland

Justices Dissenting

Pierce Butler


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

18 May 1931


The Supreme Court overturned Stromberg's conviction.

Related Cases

  • State v. Tuscano, 520 So.2d 1311 (1988).
  • State v. Grissom, 840 P.2d 1142 (1992).
  • Griggs v. State of Kansas, 814 F.Supp. 60 (1993).


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

Further Readings

  • Haiman, Franklyn Saul. "Speech Acts" and the First Amendment. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993.
  • Klehr, Harvey. The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1984.
  • Lewy, Guenter. The Cause That Failed: Communism in American Political Life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Additional topics

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