De Jonge v. State of Oregon, No. 123

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHUGHES
Citation299 U.S. 353,81 L.Ed. 278,57 S.Ct. 255
PartiesDE JONGE v. STATE OF OREGON
Docket NumberNo. 123
Decision Date04 January 1937

299 U.S. 353
57 S.Ct. 255
81 L.Ed. 278
DE JONGE

v.

STATE OF OREGON.

No. 123.
Argued Dec. 9, 1936.
Decided Jan. 4, 1937.

Appeal from the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon.

Page 354

Mr. Osmond K. Fraenkel, of New York City, for appellant.

Mr. Maurice E. Tarshis, Dep. Dist. Atty., of Portland, Or., for the State of Oregon.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 354-355 intentionally omitted]

Page 356

Mr. Chief Justice HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

Appellant, Dirk De Jonge, was indicted in Multnomah County, Or., for violation of the Criminal Syndicalism Law of that State.1 The act, which we set forth in

Page 357

the margin, defines 'criminal syndicalism' as 'the doctrine which advocates crime, physical violence, sabotage, or any unlawful acts or methods as a means of accomplishing or effecting industrial or political change or revolution.' With this preliminary definition the act proceeds to describe a number of offenses, embracing the teaching of criminal syndicalism, the printing or distribution of books, pamphlets, etc., advocating that doctrine, the organization of a society or assemblage which advocates it, and presiding at or assisting in conducting a meeting of such an organization, society or group. The prohibited acts are made felonies, punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both.

We are concerned with but one of the described offenses and with the validity of the statute in this particular application. The charge is that appellant assisted in the conduct of a meeting which was called under the auspices of the Communist Party, an organization advocating criminal syndicalism. The defense was that the meeting was public and orderly and was held for a lawful purpose; that, while it was held under the auspices of the Communist Party, neither criminal syndicalism nor any unlawful conduct was taught or advocated at the meeting either by appellant or by others. Appellant moved for a direction of acquittal, contending that the statute as applied to him, for merely assisting at a meeting called by the Communist Party at which nothing unlawful was done or advocated, violated the due process clause of the

Page 358

Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

This contention was overruled. Appellant was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to imprisonment for seven years. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State which considered the constitutional question and sustained the statute as thus applied. 152 Or. 315, 51 P.(2d) 674. The case comes here on appeal.

The record does not present the evidence adduced at the trial. The parties have substituted a stipulation of facts, which was made and filed after the decision of the Supreme Court of the State and after the Chief Justice of that court had allowed the appeal and had directed transmission here of a certified transcript of the record. We do not approve of that practice, where it does not appear that the stipulation has received the approval of the court, as we think that adherence to our rule as to the preparation of records is important for the protection of the court whose decision is under review as well as of this court. See rule 10 (28 U.S.C.A. following section 354). But, as the question presented in this instance does not turn upon an appreciation of the facts on any disputed point, we turn to the merits.

The stipulation, after setting forth the charging part of the indictment, recites in substance the following: That on July 27, 1934, there was held in Portland a meeting which had been advertised by handbills issued by the Portland section of the Communist Party; that the number of persons in attendance was variously estimated at from 150 to 300; that some of those present, who were members of the Communist Party, estimated that not to exceed 10 to 15 per cent. of those in attendance were such members; that the meeting was open to the public without charge and no questions were asked of those entering, with respect to their relation to the Communist Party; that the notice of the meeting advertised it as a

Page 359

protest against illegal raids on workers' halls and homes and against the shooting of striking longshoremen by Portland police; that the chairman stated that it was a meeting held by the Communist Party; that the first speaker dwelt on the activities of the Young Communist League; that the defendant De Jonge, the second speaker, was a member of the Communist Party and went to the meeting to speak in its name; that in his talk he protested against conditions in the county jail, the action of city police in relation to the maritime strike then in progress in Portland, and numerous other matters; that he discussed the reason for the raids on the Communist headquarters and workers' halls and offices; that he told the workers that these attacks were due to efforts on the part of the steamship companies and stevedoring companies to break the maritime longshoremen's and seamen's strike; that they hoped to break the strike by pitting the longshoremen and seamen against the Communist movement; that there was also testimony to the effect that defendant asked those present to do more work in obtaining members for the Communist Party and requested all to be at the meeting of the party to be held in Portland on the following evening and to bring their friends to show their defiance to local police authority and to assist them in their revolutionary tactics; that there was also testimony that defendant urged the purchase of certain communist literature which was sold at the meeting; that while the meeting was still in progress it was raided by the police; that the meeting was conducted in an orderly manner; that defendant and several others who were actively conducting the meeting were arrested by the police; and that on searching the hall the police found a quantity of communist literature.

The stipulation then set forth various extracts from the literature of the Communist Party to show its advocacy of criminal syndicalism. The stipulation does not disclose

Page 360

any activity by the defendant as a basis for his prosecution other than his participation in the meeting in question. Nor does the stipulation show that the communist literature distributed at the meeting contained any advocacy of criminal syndicalism or of any unlawful conduct. It was admitted by the Attorney General of the State in his argument at the bar of this Court that the literature distributed in the meeting was not of that sort and that the extracts contained in the stipulation were taken from communist literature found elsewhere. Its introduction in evidence was for the purpose of showing that the Communist Party as such did advocate the doctrine of criminal syndicalism, a fact which is not disputed on this appeal.

While the stipulation of facts is but a condensed statement, still much of it is irrelevant in the light of the particular charge of the indictment as construed by the Supreme Court. The indictment charged as follows:

'The said Dirk De Jonge, Don Cluster, Edward R. Denny and Earl Stewart on the 27th day of July, A.D., 1934, in the county of Multnomah and state of Oregon, then and there being, did then and...

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613 practice notes
  • Javits v. Stevens, No. 73 Civ. 5339-LFM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 24, 1974
    ...U.S. 1, 33, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 18 L.Ed.2d 527 (1967); In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273, 68 S.Ct. 499, 92 L.Ed. 682 (1948); De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 362 23 Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 440, 80 S.Ct. 1502, 4 L.Ed.2d 1307 (1960). 24 Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, 540, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 29 L......
  • Ross v. Early, No. 12–2547.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2014
    ...268 U.S. 652, 666, 45 S.Ct. 625, 69 L.Ed. 1138 (1925) (incorporating the freedom of speech against the states) and DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 364–65, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 (1937) (incorporating the freedom of assembly against the states). “Leafletting and commenting on matters of......
  • Leonard v. Robinson, No. 05-1728.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 2, 2007
    ...84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964) (citing Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 69 S.Ct. 894, 93 L.Ed. 1131 (1949) and De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 (1937)). Even those who advocate the most narrow interpretation of the freedom of speech agree that in a democr......
  • Brandywine-Main Line Radio, Inc. v. FCC, No. 71-1181.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • September 25, 1972
    ...Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 60 S.Ct. 900, 84 L.Ed. 1213 (1940), and the right of peaceable assembly, DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 175 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942). 176 Id., 315 U.S. at 571-572, 62 S.Ct. at 769 (footnotes omitted)......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
612 cases
  • Javits v. Stevens, No. 73 Civ. 5339-LFM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 24, 1974
    ...U.S. 1, 33, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 18 L.Ed.2d 527 (1967); In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273, 68 S.Ct. 499, 92 L.Ed. 682 (1948); De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 362 23 Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 440, 80 S.Ct. 1502, 4 L.Ed.2d 1307 (1960). 24 Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, 540, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 29 L......
  • Ross v. Early, No. 12–2547.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2014
    ...268 U.S. 652, 666, 45 S.Ct. 625, 69 L.Ed. 1138 (1925) (incorporating the freedom of speech against the states) and DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 364–65, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 (1937) (incorporating the freedom of assembly against the states). “Leafletting and commenting on matters of......
  • Leonard v. Robinson, No. 05-1728.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 2, 2007
    ...84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964) (citing Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 69 S.Ct. 894, 93 L.Ed. 1131 (1949) and De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 (1937)). Even those who advocate the most narrow interpretation of the freedom of speech agree that in a democr......
  • Brandywine-Main Line Radio, Inc. v. FCC, No. 71-1181.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • September 25, 1972
    ...Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 60 S.Ct. 900, 84 L.Ed. 1213 (1940), and the right of peaceable assembly, DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 57 S.Ct. 255, 81 L.Ed. 278 175 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942). 176 Id., 315 U.S. at 571-572, 62 S.Ct. at 769 (footnotes omitted)......
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7 books & journal articles
  • THE REASONABLENESS OF THE "REASONABLENESS" STANDARD OF HABEAS CORPUS REVIEW UNDER THE ANTITERRORISM AND EFFECTIVE DEATH PENALTY ACT OF 1996.
    • United States
    • Case Western Reserve Law Review Vol. 72 Nbr. 3, March 2022
    • March 22, 2022
    ...U.S. 1, 15 (1947) (Establishment Clause); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303-04 (1940) (Free Exercise Clause); De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 365-66 (1937) (Free Assembly Clause); Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 707 (1931) (Free Press Clause); Gitlow v. New York, 2......
  • The Supreme Court as Protector of Civil Rights: Freedom of Expression
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Nbr. 275-1, May 1951
    • May 1, 1951
    ...process becauseit offends a basic principle of fair playrooted in the conscience of the nation14 See his opinion in De Jonge v. Oregon,299 U. S. 353 (1937).15 See his opinion in Near v. Minnesota, 283U. S. 697 (1931).16 See his dissenting opinion in MinersvilleSchool District v. Gobitis, 31......
  • The Fiction of the First Freedom
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 6-2, June 1953
    • June 1, 1953
    ...274 U.S. 357 (1927); Burns v. United States, 274 U.S. 328 (1927). 27 Strarnberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931); DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353 (1937); Herndon Lowry, 301 U.S. 242 (1937); Fiske v. Kansas, 274 U.S. 380 (1927). 28 Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1948). 29 Feiner v. Ne......
  • The Hatch Act Cases
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 1-2, June 1948
    • June 1, 1948
    ...U.S. 535, 86 L. Ed. 1655 (1942).19 Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 84 L. Ed. 1213, 128 A.L.R. 1352 (1940).20 De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 81 L. Ed. 278 (1937) ; Edwards v. California, supra, n. See also South Carolina State Highway Department v. Barnwell Brothers, 303 U.S. 177, ......
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