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Scales v. United States

United States Supreme Court
367 U.S. 203 (1961)


Facts

Scales (defendant) was charged with violating a provision of the Smith Act that made it illegal to be a member, with knowledge of the purposes of the organization, of any group advocating the forceful overthrow of the United States government. Scales was the Chairman of the North and South Carolina districts of the Communist Party. The district court instructed the jury that it could not convict Scales unless it found that the Communist Party advocated overthrowing the government as soon as possible and that Scales actively participated in the group’s efforts to bring about government overthrow imminently. Scales was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Black, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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