Friday, December 27, 2013

Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Committee case brief

Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Committee case brief summary
372 U.S. 539 (1963)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner, president of the Florida NAACP, challenged a judgment from the Florida Supreme Court, which affirmed the state court's judgment of contempt and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment for refusal to provide the investigating committee his NAACP organization's membership list.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner, president of the Florida NAACP, sought review of an order of the state supreme court's judgment, which affirmed the state court's judgment of contempt and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment.

DISCUSSION
  • On appeal, the court reversed, holding that petitioner's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of association were within the ambit of the constitutional protections. 
  • It was equally clear that the guarantee encompassed protection of privacy of association in organizations such as the NAACP. 
  • The court held that the membership lists were beyond the state's power of discovery. 
  • Further, respondent state failed to demonstrate the compelling and subordinating governmental interest essential to support direct inquiry into the membership records of the NAACP.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the state supreme court's judgment of contempt because petitioner's association with the NAACP was protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.


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