NAACP v. BUTTON

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
5
Petitioner 
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Respondent 
Button
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The NAACP was prosecuted for violating a Virginia statute which banned "the improper solicitation of any legal or professional business."

Question 

Did the law, as applied to the NAACP's activities, violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for NAACP, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

Yes. In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the activities of the NAACP amounted to "modes of expression and association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments which Virginia may not prohibit." NAACP-initiated litigation was "a form of political expression" and not "a technique of resolving private differences," argued Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., who authored the majority opinion. Justice John Marshall Harlan dissented, joined by Justices Potter Stewart and Tom Clark.

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NAACP v. BUTTON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1961/1961_5>.
NAACP v. BUTTON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1961/1961_5 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"NAACP v. BUTTON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1961/1961_5.