Edwards v. California Case Brief

Facts of the Case

A resident of California brought his brother in-law from Texas to California. His brother in-law was indigent, and a complaint was filed against him under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 2615, which made it illegal for a person to knowingly bring a non-resident indigent into California. The Superior Court of California convicted the resident under the statute for bringing an indigent non-resident into California after it upheld that Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 2615 was a valid exercise of the police power of the State of California. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Does the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 abridge freedom of speech when it proscribes a significant universe of speech that is neither obscene under Miller v. California nor child pornography under New York v. Ferber ?


“Yes, the Commerce Clause forbids a state to exclude indigents. California’s interest in the health of its citizens and the sufficiency of its welfare funds do not justify the burden on interstate commerce occasioned by the law. Byrnes’s unanimous opinion observed that “the indigent non-residents who are the real victims of this statute are deprived of the opportunity to exert political pressure upon the California legislature in order to obtain a change in policy.” (See Mayor of New York v. Miln.)”

Case Information

Citation: 314 US 160 (1941)
Argued: Oct 21, 1941
Decided: Nov 24, 1941
Case Brief: 1941