Legal Case Briefing Outline
Brandenburg v. Ohio
1. Facts: By the 1960s, communism was not a big threat in America. The civil rights movement, however, became strong. The civil rights movement was an effort by African Americans to achieve equal rights in America. The government helped the civil rights movement by passing laws to give equal rights to all people in America. Some white Americans who did not like the civil rights movement formed groups to oppose it. One of those groups was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Its members believed that white Protestant people were better than black people and members of other religions. In a speech, Brandenburg also said the KKK might have to seek revenge if the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court continued to suppress white Americans. Clarence Brandenburg, the appellant in this case, was the leader of an Ohio affiliate of the Ku Klux Klan. The record indicates that Brandenburg and his associates organized a rally to be held in Hamilton County, Ohio. Brandenburg contacted a Cincinnati television station to invite a staff member to attend their meeting and film the events. Segments of the films were later broadcast on local television and on one national network. The footage contained hooded figures, some of whom were armed. The second film showed six hooded figures one of whom, later identified as the appellant, repeated a speech very similar to that recorded on the first film. The reference to the possibility of "revengeance" was omitted, and one sentence was added: "Personally, I believe the nigger should be returned to Africa, the Jew returned to Israel." Though some of the figures in the films carried weapons, the speaker did not. These figures gathered around a large wooden cross, which they burned. A speech was given by one of the figures, later identified as the appellant. The speech included words such as "revengeance" and derogatory references to blacks and Jews (Brandenburg, 395 U.S. 444, 446 (1969))....
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