Bill Funk funk at LCLARK.EDU
Sat Mar 31 10:43:13 PST 2001

earl maltz wrote:

> I;m about to show my ignorance.  Can anyone identify the first case in
> which the Supreme Court struck down government action of violative of
>         a) the free speech clause

Lamont is generally recognized as the first case in which a federal
statute was overturned on free speech grounds, but Fiske v. Kansas, 274 US
380 (1927) may be the first case overturning a state criiminal conviction
on free speech grounds.  The actual basis for decision is "due process,"
an arbitrary deprivation of the person's liberties, but the distinguishing
of Gitlow and Whitney (decided the same day) and the facts of the case
clearly indicate that it is a free speech case.

> and
>         b) the free exercise clause?

Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 US 296 (1940) looks like the one to me.  Even
though today we would think it solely a free speech case, it is clearly
both a free exercise and free speech case as written.

Bill Funk
Lewis & Clark Law School

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