In a U.S. Supreme Court opinion written between the passage of the 14th Amendment and when the Court started “incorporating” the Bill of Rights against the states, the Court upheld the conviction and $10 fine against Herman Presser. Presser had led a group of about 400 armed people calling themselves Lehr und Wehr Verein (The Teaching and Defense Association), a pro-labor socialist group, in a parade through Chicago. In what must have quite the spectacle, Presser led the parade on a horse and carried a cavalry sword. Such armed parades were against Illinois law. Sometimes this case is cited, erroneously, by gun control advocates. Find out why.


The case itself: Presser v. Illinois (1886)

Dave Kopel on Presser v. Illinois

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