In re Primus

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In re Primus
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 16, 1978
Decided May 30, 1978
Full case name In re Primus
Citations 436 U.S. 412 (more)
Holding
Solicitation of prospective litigants by nonprofit organizations that engage in litigation as a form of political expression and political association constitutes expressive and associational conduct entitled to First Amendment protection.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Powell, joined by Burger, Stewart, White, Blackmun, Stevens; Marshall (all but the first paragraph of part VI)
Concurrence Blackmun
Concurrence Marshall
Dissent Rehnquist
Brennan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amends. I, XIV

In re Primus, 436 U.S. 412 (1978), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that solicitation of prospective litigants by nonprofit organizations that engage in litigation as a form of political expression and political association constitutes expressive and associational conduct entitled to First Amendment protection.

Background[edit]

Primus was an attorney for the South Carolina affiliate of the ACLU. South Carolina had a policy of sterilizing certain women as a condition of receiving welfare. Primus sent letters to women who had been thusly sterilized, offering the legal assistance of the ACLU. The South Carolina's Supreme Court disciplinary board reprimanded Primus for violating South Carolina bar rules against soliciting business. The South Carolina Supreme Court approved the discipline. Primus appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Opinion of the Court[edit]

The US Supreme Court overturned the discipline, ruling that solicitation of prospective litigants by nonprofit organizations that engage in litigation as a form of political expression and political association constitutes expressive and associational conduct entitled to First Amendment protection.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Text of In re Primus - 436 U.S. 412 (1978) is available from:  Justia