Gitlow v. New York

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Gitlow v. New York 

268 U.S. 652 (1925), extended First Amendment freedom-of-speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal-protection provisions to the states as well as the federal government. Although Socialist Benjamin Gitlow's conviction in a New York court on criminal anarchy charges was upheld by the Supreme Court (“a state may punish utterances endangering the foundations of organized government and threatening its overthrow by unlawful means”), the Court used the case to note that freedoms of speech and the press are among the fundamental rights and liberties constitutionally protected from impairment by the states. The ruling was the first of a number of decisions holding that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the provisions of the Bill of Rights to state action.

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