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NAACP v. Button

United States Supreme Court
371 U.S. 415 (1963)


Facts

The Virginia Conference of the NAACP sought to finance litigation directed at ending racial discrimination in public schools. To accomplish this, members of the Conference held meetings inviting local Virginia parents and children to participate in lawsuits brought by NAACP attorneys. Virginia had historically prohibited certain types of solicitation of legal business. In 1956, Virginia passed Chapter 33 to extend this prohibition to the solicitation of legal business that occurs when an agent for any organization which “employs, retains or compensates” any lawyer “in connection with any judicial proceeding in which it has no pecuniary right or liability.” Button (plaintiff) brought suit in Virginia state court against the NAACP (defendant) on the ground that its activities violated Chapter 33. The highest court of Virginia held that the NAACP’s activities violated Chapter 33. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

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Dissent (Harlan, J.)

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