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Younger v. Harris

United States Supreme Court
401 U.S. 37 (1971)



John Harris, Jr. (plaintiff) was a member of a labor party that promoted a type of socialism, called syndicalism, to replace capitalism in the American economy. Harris was indicted in state court and charged with violating California Penal Code § 11400 and § 11401, known as the California Criminal Syndicalism Act (the Act). Harris then filed a complaint in federal district court seeking an injunction to prohibit the District Attorney of Los Angeles County, California, Younger (defendant), from prosecuting Harris. Harris alleged the Act violated his rights of free speech and the press as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The district court held that it had jurisdiction over the claim and the power to enjoin Younger from prosecuting Harris. The district court ruled that the Act was unconstitutional and enjoined Younger from prosecuting the current action against Harris. Younger appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

Concurrence (Stewart, J.)

Concurrence (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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