136 N.E. 505 (Ill. 1922), 14375, People v. Lloyd

Docket Nº:14375.
Citation:136 N.E. 505, 304 Ill. 23
Opinion Judge:THOMPSON, C.J.
Party Name:PEOPLE v. LLOYD et al.
Attorney:[304 Ill. 29] William S. Forrest and William A. Cunnea, both of Chicago, for plaintiff in error Lloyd. William S. Forrest, of Chicago, for plaintiff in error Sandberg. Clarence S. Darrow, of Chicago, for other plaintiffs in error. Edward J. Brundage, Atty. Gen., Robert E. Crowe, State's Atty., of...
Case Date:June 21, 1922
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois
 
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Page 505

136 N.E. 505 (Ill. 1922)

304 Ill. 23

PEOPLE

v.

LLOYD et al.

No. 14375.

Supreme Court of Illinois

June 21, 1922

Rehearing Denied Oct. 5, 1922.

Error to Criminal Court, Cook County; Oscar Hebel, Judge.

William Bross Lloyd and others were convicted of conspiracy, and they bring error.

Affirmed.

Carter, J. dissenting.

[304 Ill. 29] William S. Forrest and William A. Cunnea, both of Chicago, for plaintiff in error Lloyd.

William S. Forrest, of Chicago, for plaintiff in error Sandberg.

Clarence S. Darrow, of Chicago, for other plaintiffs in error.

Edward J. Brundage, Atty. Gen., Robert E. Crowe, State's Atty., of Chicago, and Edward C. Fitch, of Springfield (Lloyd D. Heth, Henry A. Berger, Marvin E. Barnhart, and Edward E. Wilson, all of Chicago, and Frank Comerford, of counsel), for the People.

THOMPSON, C.J.

Thirty-nine members of the Communist Labor party were indicted by the March, 1920, grand jury of the criminal court of Cook county for conspiracy. Twenty of them were arrested, tried, and convicted. Two of those convicted were not sentenced--Max Bedacht, of San Francisco, who failed to appear for sentence, and Edwin Firth, who died before judgment was entered. The 18 who were sentenced on the verdict are plaintiffs in error here. They are William Bross Lloyd and Arthur Procter, each sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $2,000, Jack Carney, sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $1,000, L. E. Katterfeld, L. K. England, Ludwig Lore, Edgar Owens, and Niels Kjar, each sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary, and Perry Shipman, Karl F. Sandberg, Oscar Jesse Brown, N. J. Christensen, Samuel Ash, James A. Meisinger, Samuel F. Hankin, John Vogel, Morris A. Stolar, and Charles Krumbein, each sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail for one year.

The felonies and unlawful acts which it is charged plaintiffs in error conspired to commit are those created by the [304 Ill. 30] act of June 28, 1919, which declares that it shall be unlawful for any person 'openly to advocate by word of mouth or writing the reformation or overthrow by violence or any other unlawful means of the representative form of government now secured to the citizens of the United States and the several states by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitutions of the several states,' 'to publish, issue or knowingly sell or distribute any book, paper, document or other written or printed matter which advocates crime and violence as a means of accomplishing the reformation or overthrow of the constitutional representative form of government so secured to the citizens of the United States and the several states,' 'to organize, aid in the organization of, or become a member of any society or association, the object of which is to advocate the reformation or overthrow of the existing form of government by violence or any other unlawful means,' and 'to display or exhibit at any meeting, gathering or parade, public or private, any flag, banner, emblem or other insignia, symbolizing or intending to symbolize a purpose to overthrow by force or violence or by physical injury to person or property, of the representative form of government now secured to the citizens of the United States and the several states by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Illinois,' and that any person who shall do any of the acts forbidden shall be deemed guilty of a felony. The act further declares that it shall be unlawful for any person 'voluntarily and with knowledge of the purpose of such meeting or assembly to be present at any meeting or assembly, at which the reformation or overthrow of the existing form of government by crime and violence is advocated,' and that any person who attends such a meeting shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. Laws 1919, p. 420.

Plaintiffs in error contend that every section of said act is invalid, for the reason that the General Assembly of [304 Ill. 31] Illinois does not have the power and authority to make unlawful and punishable the advocacy of the reformation or overthrow of all or of any separable part of the constitutional representative form of government of the United States of America, or the constitutional representative form of government of all or any one of the other 47 several states of the United States, and that the Congress of the

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United States is the only legislative body in the United States, if any, which has the power and authority to make such advocacy unlawful and punishable. This contention is based in part at least on the argument that the power and authority to 'guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government' and to 'protect each of them against invasion' are lodged by section 4 of article 4 of the Constitution of the United States exclusively in the United States. This contention is not sound. The citizens of this state are citizens of the United States, and the citizens of the United States residing within the borders of this state are citizens of this state. Each citizen owes a duty to these two separate sovereignties. The state is a part of the nation, and owes a duty to the nation to support the efforts of the national government to secure the safety and protect the rights of its citizens, and to preserve, maintain, and enforce the sovereign rights of the nation against public menace, and to that end the state may require its citizens to refrain from any act which will interfere with or impede the national government in effectively defending itself against such public enemies. It is the duty of all citizens of the state to aid the state in performing its duty as a part of the nation, and the fact that such citizens are also citizens of the United States and owe a direct duty to the nation does not absolve them from their duty to the state or preclude the state from enforcing such duty. State v. Holm, 139 Minn. 267, 166 N.W. 181, L. R. A. 1918C, 304; Dunne v. People, 94 Ill. 120, 34 Am. Rep. 213; State v. Kahn, 56 Mont. 108, 182 P. 107; State v. Hennessy, 114 Wash. 351, [304 Ill. 32] 195 P. 211 To view preceding link please click here .

The phrase, 'the representative form of government now secured to the citizens of the United States and the several states by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitutions of the several states,' is the description of a form of government familiar to every high school boy and girl in the state. The United States of America, the state of Illinois, and each and every one of the other 47 states of the United States is a representative democracy, and the government of each is a republican form of government. Each and every one of these 49 sovereignties has a written Constitution guaranteeing that the residents of the several sovereignties, citizen or alien, shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. There is embodied in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of each of the 48 states a Bill (or Declaration) of Rights, guaranteeing to every citizen, among other things, the right of private ownership of property, and the right of each individual to use and enjoy his property. The fundamental principles upon which each of the governments of these 49 sovereignties is established are the same, and the form of government of each is and has been the same since they were severally established. The advocacy within any one of the several states to overthrow the representative form of government of the United States, or of the several states, is therefore an assault upon the established government of each and every one of the 49 separate sovereignties, and it would be strange indeed if any one of these sovereignties did not have the right to protect itself against destruction. The overthrow of the national government would be a direct blow at the representative form of government now secured to each of the several states, and the overthrow of the government of any one of the several states would be an indirect assault upon the government of each of the other 47 states.

The state of Illinois is therefore interested in the preservation[304 Ill. 33] of our national government and the government of each and every one of her sister states, and she, without doubt, has the right under the police power inherent in every government to enact laws for the preservation and protection of her government. Each state, when not restrained by its own fundamental law or by the supreme law of the land, possesses all legislative power consistent with a republican form of government, and it therefore has power and authority to provide by legislation, not only for the protection of the health, morals, and safety of its people, but for the common good, as involved in the well-being, peace, and prosperity of its people. When, by its legislation, a state encourages a feeling of patriotism toward the nation, it necessarily encourages a like feeling toward the state. There is nothing in the federal Constitution in any way granting to the federal government the exclusive right to punish disloyalty. Halter v. State, 205 U.S. 34, 27 S.Ct. 419, 51 L.Ed. 696; Gilbert v. State, 254 U.S. 325, 41 S.Ct. 125, 65 L.Ed. 287.

It is next contended that every section of the act is invalid and void because of the uncertainty, ambiguity, and repugnancy that appear in the essential words thereof, and every error of grammar and rhetoric is pointed out and argued at length. It is argued that the act is ambiguous, because its language makes it a felony to reform and overthrow our form of government, whereas a form of government cannot be overthrown. This objection is too fanciful to appeal to a reasonable mind. The...

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