Presentation on theme: "Yates vs. United States Argued October 8-9, 1956 Decided June 17, 1957."— Presentation transcript:
Yates vs. United States Argued October 8-9, 1956 Decided June 17, 1957
Background In 1951, 14 people were charged with violating the Smith Act for being members of the Communists Party. The Smith Act makes it illegal to organize the destruction to overthrow any government in the U.S. with force or action. Yates argued that there only actions were passive and no physical force was taken.
Constitutional Issues The repealed argued whether or not Yates 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech protected his support of forceful overthrow of the government. First Amendment- Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Dissenting Opinion Tom Clark (wrote dissenting opinion) Took No Part Justice Brennan Justice Whittaker
Majority Opinion “The Court held that for the Smith Act to be violated, people must be encouraged to do something. The Court drew a distinction between a statement of an idea and the advocacy that a certain action be taken.” In other words….The Smith Act makes action illegal. The Court founded that Yates was starting an idea, he wasn’t directly in support of action being taken. He talked about doing things not about having them done.
Dissenting Clark was the only one who formed a dissenting opinion. He stated that this case was similar to the Dennis vs. United States case in 1951, except for the California conditions. In Dennis, the defendants were found guilty and convicted on evidence closely paralleling that of Yates vs. United States.