• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a group of civil rights demonstrators, arguing that the group had a right to demonstrate peacefully even if local government officials disliked their political views.

By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the conviction of civil rights demonstrators in Louisiana must be reversed because the state had allowed other approved groups to block traffic in similar ways to those convicted in this case. In Cox, it appeared that the state had improperly convicted these demonstrators because of the unpopularity of their views. In its decision, the Court was following the logic of time, place, and manner regulations that allow for safe, orderly streets but require like treatment of all demonstrators. Assembly is not as protected as speech is because the First Amendment qualifies assembly by the use of the word “peaceably.” This case should be contrasted with Adderley v. Florida[case]Adderley v. Florida[Adderley v. Florida] (1966), in which the Court upheld the conviction of people who had demonstrated on the grounds of a county jail.[case]Cox v. Louisiana[Cox v. Louisiana]Assembly and association, freedom of;Cox v. Louisiana[Cox v. Louisiana]

Adderley v. Florida

Assembly and association, freedom of

Brandenburg v. Ohio

Cox v. New Hampshire

First Amendment

Symbolic speech

Time, place, and manner regulations

Whitney v. California

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