Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: April 15, 1931

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

4/15/1931: Stromberg v. California argued.

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  1. Another misleading summary and decontextualized analysis.

    If you read the decision you see that the “red flag” was the Soviet flag. It was not an anarchist flag. (“Anarchist” was language in the statute under which they were prosecuted.) They were considered dangerous because they were Communists, aligned with the USSR, not because they were anarchists. It makes a difference.

    At least you got the year right this time (1931).

    Would the Korematsu Court have ruled differently? How about today? What if it was a “three percenter” flag and the kids were swearing to overthrow Obama (a “Fourteenth Amendment citizen”) and restore the government to “Sovereign citizens”?

    1. Kinda. The statute was:
      1919 California Penal Code, § 403a: “Any person who displays a red flag, banner or badge or any flag, badge, banner, or device of any color or form whatever in any public place or in any meeting place or public assembly, or from or on any house, building or window as a sign, symbol or emblem of opposition to organized government or as an invitation or stimulus to anarchistic action or as an aid to propaganda that is of a seditious character is guilty of a felony.”

      I’d argue that the “aid to propaganda” applied here and in 1929 it meant “Soviet Propaganda.”

      Interesting point — she was 19 — a minor at the time — and she was sentenced to San Quintin? Not Juvvie Hall? Hmmmm…

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