U.S. Supreme Court Actual Rulings Edwards v. South Carolina (1963) Question Presented Did the arrests and convictions of the marchers violate their freedom of speech, assembly, and petition for redress of their grievances as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments? Conclusion Yes. The Court held that the arrests and convictions violated the rights of the marchers. They were convicted of an offense which the South Carolina Supreme Court, in upholding the convictions, described as "not susceptible of exact definition." The evidence used to prosecute the marchers did not even remotely prove that their actions were violent. Hence, Justice Stewart found clear constitutional violations in this case. Stewart called the marchers' actions an exercise of First Amendment rights "in their most pristine and classic form" and emphasized that a state cannot "make criminal the peaceful expression of unpopular views" as South Carolina attempted to do here. Adderley v. Florida (1966)
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