Government 100C FYS Discussion

Government 100C FYS Discussion - FOR ORIENTATION GROUP...

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FOR ORIENTATION GROUP DISCUSSION ON AUGUST 27. INSTRUCTIONS: Read the excerpts below from this classic United States Supreme Court case and be prepared to discuss the following questions: 1. What issue or problem does the Supreme Court confront in this case? 2. What conclusion does the Court reach that is explained in the plurality opinion of Chief Justice Fred Vinson? 3. According to Justice Felix Frankfurter, who bears primary responsibility for dealing with the issue and problem that has landed in the Court’s lap? Why? 4. How do Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas differ from their colleagues in the resolution of this case? Why? 5. What relevance does this case have for the current war on terrorism? 6. Had you been a member of the Supreme Court when this case was decided, how would you have voted? Why? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Dennis v. United States 341 U.S. 494, 71 S.Ct. 857, 95 L.Ed. 1137 (1951) http://laws.findlaw.com/us/341/494.html This case represents the last stage of the 1949 trial of the 11 leaders of the Communist Party of the United States for violations of the Smith Act of 1940. The Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was limited to a review of whether Sections 2 or 3 of the Smith Act, inherently or as construed and applied, violated the First or Fifth Amendment. Majority: Vinson, Burton, Frankfurter, Jackson, Minton, Reed. Dissenting: Black, Douglas. Not participating: Clark. M R . C HIEF J USTICE V INSON announced the judgment of the court and an opinion in which M R . J USTICE R EED , M R . J USTICE B URTON , and M R . J USTICE M INTON join . Sections 2 and 3 of the Smith Act, provide as follows: Sec. 2 (a) It shall be unlawful for any person— (1) to knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of such government; (2) with the intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States, to print, publish, edit, issue, circulate, sell, distribute, or publicly display any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence; (3) to organize or help to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States by force or violence; or to be or become a member of, or affiliate with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof . Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for any person to attempt to commit, or to conspire to
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Government 100C FYS Discussion - FOR ORIENTATION GROUP...

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