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Terminiello v. City of Chicago

United States Supreme Court
337 U.S. 1 (1949)


Facts

Father Arthur Terminiello (defendant) gave a controversial speech at a Chicago auditorium. Angry protesters assembled outside, and despite police attempts to maintain order, several disturbances ensued. The City of Chicago (plaintiff) prosecuted Terminiello under a city ordinance prohibiting speech that "stirs the public to anger, invites dispute, brings about a condition of unrest, or creates a disturbance." At trial, Terminiello raised no objection to a jury instruction based on this wording. The jury found Terminiello guilty. On appeal, Terminiello argued the ordinance violated his constitutional right to free speech. The Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court both upheld the trial verdict. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

Dissent (Vinson, C.J.)

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