Legal Principle at Issue
Whether the First Amendment was violated when civil rights protestors, marching in front of the state house, were arrested after refusing to disperse when a crowd gathered.
Reversed. Petitioning party received a favorable disposition.
Close to 200 peaceful protesters filed suit after they were arrested following a demonstration to end segregation at the South Carolina State House. The Supreme Court found that the protesters' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and petition were violated by the state.
Importance of Case
Nonviolent protest is protected by the First Amendment.