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Bond v. Floyd

Significance, Can States Require That Legislators Meet Ethical Standards?, Maximum Freedom To Say Anything, Anywhere, At Any Time


Julian Bond


State of Georgia

Petitioner's Claim

That the Georgia House of Representatives, to which the petitioner had been elected, could not refuse to seat him because of his statements criticizing the Vietnam War.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Howard Moore, Jr., Leonard B. Boudin, Victor Rabinowitz

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Arthur K. Bolton, William L. Harper, Alfred L. Evans, Jr., Paul L. Hanes

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark, William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart, Earl Warren (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 December 1966


The Georgia House could not refuse to seat Bond, whose statements were protected by the free speech provisions of the First Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Debs v. United States, 249 U.S. 211 (1919).
  • New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).


Bacon, Donald C., et al., eds. The Encyclopedia of the United States Congress. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.


Knappman, Edward W., ed. Great American Trials. Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press, 1994.

Further Readings

  • Emerson, Thomas I. The System of Freedom of Expression. New York: Random House, 1970.
  • Graber, Mark A. Transforming Free Speech: The Ambiguous Legacy of Civil Libertarianism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Kalvern, Harry. A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.

Additional topics

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