In this incorporation case, the Supreme Court held that local officials could not block an otherwise lawful demonstration because they disliked the demonstrators’ political views.
About two hundred African American students marched peacefully in small groups from a church to the South Carolina state capitol, an obviously public forum, to protest the state’s racially discriminatory laws. A few dozen police officers initially told them they could march peacefully but about an hour later ordered them to disperse under threat of arrest. A crowd had gathered to watch the demonstrators but did not seem threatening, and the police presence was ample. The demonstrators responded by singing patriotic and religious songs until some two hundred demonstrators were arrested and convicted of breach of the peace. Their conviction was upheld by the South Carolina supreme court.
The Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote, reversed the convictions of the civil rights demonstrators. Justice Potter Stewart,
Assembly and association, freedom of
Brandenburg v. Ohio
DeJonge v. Oregon
Due process, procedural
Hague v. Congress of Industrial Organizations
Time, place, and manner regulations