Quick Links:

UT School of Law | UT Libraries
The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas School of Law Tarlton Law Library Jamail Center for Legal Research

The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

DesegregationSchool PrayerFourth Amendment5th AmendmentVoting RightsCommunismMexican American Civil Rights

Yates v. United States (1957)

Communism - Yates v. United States, 1957

Communist Poster

Selected Case Files

Docket Sheet

Bench Memorandum - 1956 Term

Bench Memorandum - 1957 Term

Draft opinion of Justice Harlan

Justice Clark's draft dissent

First circulated draft of Justice Clark's dissent

Letter from Justice Frankfurter to Court regarding postponement of decision

Justice Clark's first draft majority opinion after re-argument

Memorandum with summary of cases involving multiple contempts


In 1921, Congress passed the Smith Act, which prohibited the advocacy of overthrowing the U.S. government. In 1951, 14 members of the Communist party in California were convicted under the act. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed their convictions in what is considered an important expansion of the First Amendment protection of free speech. In Yates, the Court held that the mere advocacy of the overthrow of the government was insufficient for a conviction under the Smith Act, and that more "concrete action" would be necessary before a person could be convicted.

 

 

Read More

About Browse Collection Glossary Contact Us The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark