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Dennis v. United States

Dennis v. United States 341 US 494 1951 is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with citizens' rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The Case

George W. Crockett, Jr., Abraham J. Isserman and Harry Sacher argued the cause for petitioners. With them on the brief was Richard Gladstein.

Solicitor General Perlman and Irving S. Shapiro argued the cause for the United States. With them on the brief were Attorney General McGrath, Assistant Attorney General McInerney, Irving H. Saypol, Robert W. Ginnane, Frank H. Gordon, Edward C. Wallace and Lawrence K. Bailey.

The Decision

Handed down as a 6-2 decision by the Court on 4 June 1951, the majority opinion was delivered by Chief Justice of the United States Fred Vinson[?], who was joined by Justices Stanley Forman Reed[?], Sherman Minton, and Harold H. Burton[?]. Separate concurring opinions were delivered by Justices Felix Frankfurter[?], William O. Douglas[?], and Robert H. Jackson. Justice Hugo Black wrote the lone dissenting opinion.

The Court ruled against the plaintiff, a leader of the Communist Party in the United States, convicted for teaching, conspiring and organizing for the willful overthrow and destruction of the United States government by force and violence, under provisions of the Smith Act.

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