Legal Principle at Issue
Whether an Ohio law prohibiting speech that advocates for illegal activities violated Brandenburg's First Amendment rights.
Reversed. Petitioning party received a favorable disposition.
Brandenburg was convicted of violating a criminal law that prohibited speech that advocates crime, sabotage, violence, and other similar acts after he spoke at a KKK rally. The Supreme Court found that the law infringed on Brandenburg's First Amendment rights, and created the imminent lawless action test. In order for speech to fall out of First Amendment protection, it must 1) be directed at producing imminent lawless action and 2) it is likely to produce such action.
Importance of Case
Speech is not constitutionally protected if 1) it is directed at producing imminent lawless action and 2) it is likely to produce such action.