Beauharnais v. Illinois
|Beauharnais v. Illinois|
|Argued November 28, 1951
Decided April 28, 1952
|Full case name||Beauharnais v. Illinois|
|Citations||343 U.S. 250 (more)
72 S. Ct. 725; 96 L. Ed. 919; 1952 U.S. LEXIS 2799
|Prior history||Cert. to the S.Ct. of IL. The Supreme Court of Illinois sustained petitioner's conviction of a violation of Ill. Rev. Stat., 1949, c. 38 § 471, over his objection that the statute was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment. 408 Ill. 512, 97 N. E. 2d 343. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 809. Affirmed, p. 267|
|The Court upheld an Illinois law making it illegal to publish or exhibit any writing or picture portraying the "depravity, criminality, unchastity, or lack of virtue of a class of citizens of any race, color, creed or religion."|
|Majority||Frankfurter, joined by Vinson, Burton, Clark, Minton|
|Dissent||Black, joined by Douglas|
|Dissent||Reed, joined by Douglas|
|U.S. Const. amends. I, XIV|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250 (1952), was a case that came before the United States Supreme Court in 1952. The result was that an Illinois law making it illegal to publish or exhibit any writing or picture portraying the "depravity, criminality, unchastity, or lack of virtue of a class of citizens of any race, color, creed or religion" was upheld. It is most known for giving a legal basis to some degree of protection from forms of hate speech which may be deemed to breach US libel law.
The defendant in Beauharnais distributed a leaflet "setting forth a petition calling on the Mayor and City Council of Chicago 'to halt the further encroachment, harassment and invasion of white people, their property, neighborhoods and persons, by the Negro.'" His criminal conviction by the trial court was sustained by the Illinois Supreme Court which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld after rejecting the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process challenge.
Although Beauharnais has not been overturned, subsequent Supreme Court decisions such as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul have adopted a more speech-protective position.
- List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 343
- List of United States Supreme Court cases
- List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Vinson Court
- List of United States Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment
- Schwartz, Bernard. The Warren Court: A Retrospective, p.78. Oxford University Press, 1996.