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Herndon v. Georgia

295 U.S. 441 (1935)

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Herndon v. Georgia

United States Supreme Court

295 U.S. 441 (1935)

Facts

The state of Georgia (plaintiff) charged Herndon (defendant) with attempting to incite insurrection by inducing others to join and resist the Georgia government by violence, a violation of § 56 of the Georgia Penal Code. The trial court instructed the jury that to convict Herndon, the evidence must clearly show that Herndon advocated immediate and serious violence against the state. The jury convicted Herndon. Herndon moved for a new trial, arguing that the evidence failed to show temporal immediacy between the incitement and the potential for violent action. The trial court denied the motion. Herndon appealed. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to convict Herndon based on his intent to incite violence and did not require that the violence occur immediately or shortly after the incitement; rather, the violence could occur at any time after the incitement. Herndon appealed, raising free-speech and due-process challenges for the first time in the case. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sutherland, J.)

Dissent (Cardozo, J.)

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