The Long, Sometimes Painful History of the First Amendment
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
At a Ku Klux Klan rally in rural Ohio, members wore robes and hoods, carried firearms, burned a cross, denounced "n----s" and Jews, and announced a march on Washington. A Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, above left, was convicted for advocating violence under an Ohio statute, fined $1,000 and sentenced to one to ten years in prison. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction, upholding the right to use inflammatory speech, as long as it is not likely to incite violence.