Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Brandenbeurg v. Ohio
Appellant allegedly telephoned a reporter on the staff of a Cincinnati television station and invited him to come to a Klu Klux Klan rally to be held at a Hamilton County farm. At trial, the reporter identified appellant as the individual who called him and as the individual who spoke at the rally. At the rally crosses were burned, and a speech was made that talked about vengeance against certain races, including returning some races to their homelands. Appellant was convicted under the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism Statute, which prohibits “advocating the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform.” At trial Appellant was fine $1,000 and sentenced to one to ten years in jail. Appellant appealed challenging the constitutionality of the criminal syndication statute under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, which protected his rights of free speech and free assembly under the United States Constitution. The Ohio appeals court upheld his conviction, and the Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed his appeal on the grounds that no substantial constitutional question exists. Appellant then appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
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