April 13, 2015
AP Gov & Pol
Gitlow v. New York (1925) During the era of the Red Scare a whole mess of communists, socialists, and other suspected anarchists were convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918. In 1919, a socialist from New York named Benjamin Gitlow was charged with criminal anarchy. He published a socialist manifesto which he contented represented a simple expression of history paired with his analysis. The trial proceeded and he was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to 5-10 years at Sing-Sing. After two years in prison his appeal was granted and he made bail. The courts upheld their conviction by a vote of 9-2. The courts reasoning behind their decision was that the government has the right to suppress speech that “directly advocates the unlawful overthrow of the government”. In New York State it is a crime to advocate for the forceful, violent overthrow of the government, and the courts determined that this law was in fact constitutional. According to Justice Edward Terry Sanford, According to Sanford, a "single revolutionary spark may kindle a fire that, smoldering for a time, may burst into a sweeping and destructive conflagration." He said the Manifesto contained "the language of direct incitement" and was not "the expression of philosophical abstraction." and that was his rationale.
Palko v. Connecticut (1937)
This case concerns Frank Palko, who was a Connecticut resident. In 1935, Franky boy broke into a music shop and proceeded to snatch a phonograph. He made his escape on foot, but he did not get that far. The boys cornered him, and he killed two police officers in an altercation. He was on the run for over a month before he was…