Gitlow v. New York

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Gitlow v. New York (1925) was an important Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extended the reach of certain provisions of the First Amendment, specifically the provisions protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press, to the governments of the individual states. The Supreme Court had previously held, in Barron v. Baltimore,1833, that the Constitution's Bill of Rights applied only to the Federal government, and that the federal courts could not stop the enforcement of state laws that restricted the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

Gitlow v. New York's partial reversal of that precedent began a process toward a nearly complete reversal; the Supreme Court now holds that almost every provision of the Bill of Rights applies to both the federal government and the separate states.

The Court upheld the state law challenged in Gitlow v. New York, which made it a crime to advocate the duty, need, or appropriateness of overthrowing government by force or violence. The Court's ruling on the effects of the Fourteenth Amendment was incidental to the decision, but established a significant precedent.

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