Lewis v. City of New Orleans

PETITIONER: Lewis
RESPONDENT: City of New Orleans
LOCATION: Dade County Circuit Court

DOCKET NO.: 72-6156
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Louisiana Supreme Court

CITATION: 415 US 130 (1974)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1973
DECIDED: Feb 20, 1974

ADVOCATES:
John Wilson Reed - for appellant
Servando C. Garcia, III, - for appellee

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Lewis v. City of New Orleans

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1973 in Lewis v. City of New Orleans

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 20, 1974 in Lewis v. City of New Orleans

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Stewart.

Mr. Justice Brennan will announce the disposition of 72-6156, Lewis against New Orleans.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

In this case we reverse appellant's convictions under New Orleans ordinance for addressing vulgar spoken words to a New Orleans police officer.

We hold that the New Orleans ordinance is facially unconstitutional because as construed by the Louisiana Supreme Court, it's over broad and it's not limited to punishing fighting words as defined in our decisions in Chaplinsky and Gooding.

Mr. Justice Powell concurs in the result, he has filed a concurring opinion.

Mr. Justice Blackmun joined by the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist dissents and has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.