Cohen v. California
Significance, Court Upholds First Amendment Protection For Nonverbal Aspects Of Communication
Paul Robert Cohen
The State of California
That wearing a jacket bearing a controversial opinion about the draft in a county courthouse constituted political speech protected by the First Amendment.
Chief Lawyer for Appellant
Melville B. Nimmer
Chief Lawyer for Appellee
Michael T. Sauer
Justices for the Court
William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, John Marshall Harlan II (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart
Hugo Lafayette Black, Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
7 June 1971
The Supreme Court struck down Cohen's conviction for disturbing the peace.
- Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
- Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942).
- Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963).
- Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).
- Blanchard, Margaret A. Revolutionary Sparks: Freedom of Expression in Modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
- Greenawalt, Kent. Fighting Words: Individuals, Communities, and Liberties of Speech. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.
- Schauer, Frederick F. Free Speech: A Philosophical Inquiry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
- Collie Leroy Wilkins Trial: 1965 - Suggestions For Further Reading
- Clay Shaw Trial: 1969 - Garrison: Hands Over The Reins, Focus Shifts To Zapruder Film
- Cohen v. California - Significance
- Cohen v. California - Court Upholds First Amendment Protection For Nonverbal Aspects Of Communication
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