DOMBROWSKI et al. v. PFISTER, CHAIRMAN, JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES OF THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE, et al.
Supreme Court Cases
380 U.S. 479 (1965)
Reversed and remanded. Petitioning party received a favorable disposition.
Appellants, a civil rights organization and its executive director, brought suit in Federal District Court, in which other individuals later joined, for injunctive and declaratory relief to restrain appellees from prosecuting or threatening to prosecute them under Louisiana's Subversive Activities and Communist Control Law and Communist Propaganda Control Law, which they alleged violated their rights of free expression under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Appellants contended that the statutes were excessively broad and susceptible of application in violation of those rights, and were being used by appellees in bad faith, not to secure valid convictions, but to deter appellants' civil rights efforts. Appellants alleged and offered to prove the arrest of the individual appellants under the statutes, the raiding of their offices and illegal seizure of their records, with continued threats of prosecution after invalidation by a state court of the arrests and seizure of evidence preceding this action. A three-judge District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, also holding that abstention was appropriate pending a possible narrowing.construction by the state courts which would avoid unnecessary constitutional adjudication. Thereafter, appellants alleged, the individual appellants were indicted under the Subversive Activities and Communist Control Law. They also claimed that there was no prospect of final state adjudications either under those indictments or under threatened additional prosecutions.
Advocated for Respondent
- John E. Jackson Jr. View all cases
- Jack N. Rogers View all cases
Advocated for Petitioner
- Leon Hubert Jr. View all cases
- Arthur Kinoy View all cases