Talley v. California

RESPONDENT: California
LOCATION: Fleetwood Paving Co.

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 362 US 60 (1960)
ARGUED: Jan 13, 1960 / Jan 14, 1960
DECIDED: Mar 07, 1960

Facts of the case


Media for Talley v. California

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 13, 1960 in Talley v. California

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 14, 1960 in Talley v. California

Earl Warren:

Number 154, Manuel D. Talley, Petitioner, versus California.

Mr. Wirin, you may continue your argument.

A. L. Wirin:

Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

I should like now for a moment to advert to the opinion of the court below which is being reviewed here, an opinion by the Appellate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court, which is the highest court in California available to entertain an appeal.

That Court divided 2-to-1.

It's a three-judge court.

The opinion appears in the record at page 27 and following.

I say the Court divided 2-to-1 which the presiding judge of that Court, Judge Bishop dissented.

I think I'd like to spend a moment in the -- if I may with Your Honors' generous permission in the -- in a quasi-facetious vein and to say to Your Honor that the concurrence by Judge Swain is a novelty in the law for its colloquialism.

It appears in the record at page 34, it is just half a dozen or so lines.

And Judge Swain, who is a -- an eminent jurist in an Oxford -- an ex-Oxford scholar, read the decisions of this Court in N.A.A.C.P. versus Alabama as he did in Bryant versus Zimmerman involving the Ku Klux Klan, and he thought that two decisions were contradictory and the only distinction he saw between Justice Harlan's opinion in the N.A.A.C.P. versus Alabama, the earlier case, is that one case, the -- the former dealt with good guys and the earlier one dealt with bad guys or he put it a little bit more scholarly, he said the former dealt with -- then it should be dealt with good guys, in the latter with wicked men.

Apparently, he had been looking at Westerns on T.V.

And he was drawing --

(Inaudible) and takes to another.

A. L. Wirin:

Oh, Yes.

Well, as an advocate of liberty, I -- I support the right of Oxford men under all circumstances.

Felix Frankfurter:


A. L. Wirin:

I beg your pardon, sir?

Felix Frankfurter:


A. L. Wirin:

Well --

Felix Frankfurter:

You're very broad in (Inaudible)

A. L. Wirin:

Now, I would say Oxford men above all others, next to Harvard men.

Felix Frankfurter:

Don't go too far.

A. L. Wirin:

All right.


Many event now, to be -- to be serious, if I may, the Appellate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the majority considered the justifications for the ordinance and the warrant part and justify the ordinance on the ground that the purpose of the ordinance was to provide a means for fixing responsibility for abuses.

Now, I must say right now that so far as the Appellate Department of Superior Court is concern, and so far as this -- the respondent City of Los Angeles up to its brief in this Court, there was no spelling out either in detail or otherwise as to what these allegedly abuses against with this ordinance was saying were.

The Appellate Department, in affirming the judgment, contended itself with using the word “abuse” in generality.

The Appellate Department pointed to no findings by the City Council reciting specific abuses because there were no findings by the City Council.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

How long is the endorsement?