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The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.


As said in Noto v. United States, 367 U. S. 290, 367 U. S. 297-298 (1961), 'the mere abstract teaching . . . of the moral propriety or even moral necessity for a resort to force and violence is not the same as preparing a group for violent action and steeling it to such action.' See also Herndon v. Lowry, 301 U. S. 242, 301 U. S. 259-261 (1937); Bond v. Floyd, 385 U. S. 116, 385 U. S. 134 (1966). A statute which fails to draw this distinction impermissibly intrudes upon the freedoms guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It sweeps within its condemnation speech which our Constitution has immunized from governmental control. Cf. Yates v. United States, 354 U. S. 298 (1957); De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U. S. 353 (1937); Stromberg v. California, 283 U. S. 359 (1931). See also United ...

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