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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
Beauharnais v. Illinois
Citation:Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250 (1952)
Beauharnais was the president of the White Circle League which distributed a leaflet calling for white citizens of Chicago to halt encroachment by “the Negro” and unite “to prevent the white race from becoming mongrelized.” He was convicted under an Illinois law making it a crime to distribute a publication that “portrays depravity, criminality, unchastity, lack of virtue of a class of citizens of any race, color, creed, or religion” or which exposes such a class of citizens to “contempt, derision, or obloquy or which is productive of breach of the peace or riots.” Beauharnais appealed his conviction, claiming his First Amendment rights were breached.
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