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Gompers v. Buck's Stove & Range Company


Again, the issue here was not the right of free speech, but rather, whether one could use the protections of free speech to accomplish an otherwise illegal act, objective, or purpose. This case has been relied on as authoritative in dozens of subsequent cases seeking to quash boycotts. Most forms of boycotting remain illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. However, non-violent, politically-motivated economic boycotts which seek to secure constitutional rights are generally protected. Boycotts are to be distinguished from "pickets," wherein employees and workers may peacefully protest at their place of employment, and make known to the public their grievances against their employer.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Gompers v. Buck's Stove Range Company - Significance, Historical Backdrop, Testing The Waters, The Court's Analysis, Impact, Unions