Case Study: Gitlow V. New York

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Gitlow v. New York Hale, 2

Gitlow v. New York: Establishing Selective Incorporation

Scarlet Hale

Liberty High School
AP Government 3A/B

Gitlow v. New York may not be a commonly known case among citizens, but is quite significant within the United States government. The case was argued in 1923 and reargued in that same year after Benjamin Gitlow was handing out copies of the Left-Wing Manifesto during the first Red Scare in the United States (Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2015) (US Supreme Court). The court case was not established until two years later in 1925. Gitlow v. New York established that a state government has the right to punish an individual or group for promoting revolution, even though they have the
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He believed that he had the right to do promote revolution, because of his freedom of speech in the 1st Amendment. The state of New York believed that since it was against their state statute, and that there was clear and present danger to society. Gitlow argued that since there was no action that happened after the Left-Wing Manifesto was published that it was not a danger to the public. This court case was decided by the Taft court when it went to the U.S. Supreme Court (Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2015). Selective incorporation applies the Bill of Rights to the states (Cornell University Law School, …show more content…
Selective incorporation still stands with the state governments. Selective incorporation does not guarantee the states to win every case that the Supreme Court sees. The rights of the individual are still protected along with the implication of selective incorporation. Selective incorporation was the system used to balance out the freedoms of individuals so that they stay within the state governments regulations, but also have their constitutional freedoms as well.
The impact of this case still stands today. There is still selective corporation in our government today. This was a very key action made by the Supreme Court. Gitlow v. New York has affected the United States Government and choices made by the Supreme Court since it established selective incorporation.


Chicago- Kent College of Law. (2015). {{meta.pageTitle}}. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Chicago-Kent College of Law. (2015). Barron v. Baltimore. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from

Cornell University Law School. (2015). Incorporation Doctrine. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from

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