First Amendment Library:
John Caldwell Myers

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Benjamin Gitlow, a socialist, was arrested in 1919 for distributing a “Left Wing Manifesto” that called for the establishment of socialism through strikes and class action of any form. Gitlow was convicted under New York’s Criminal Anarchy Law, which punished advocating the overthrow of the government by force. Gitlow challenged his conviction, arguing that the First Amendment restrains the states as well as the federal government and that the criminal anarchy law violated the First Amendment.

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