Schacht v. United States
398 U.S. 58 (1970)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Schacht v. United States, 398 U.S. 58 (1970)

Schacht v. United States

No. 628

Argued March 31, 1970

Decided May 25, 1970

398 U.S. 58

Syllabus

Petitioner, who participated in a skit performed several times in front of an Armed Forces induction center demonstrating opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam conflict, was convicted by a jury of violating 18 U.S.C. § 702, which makes criminal the unauthorized wearing of an American military uniform or part thereof. Petitioner alleged that he was authorized to wear the uniform by 10 U.S.C. § 772(f), which permits wearing of a uniform while one is portraying a member of an armed force in a theatrical or motion picture production "if the portrayal does not tend to discredit that armed force." His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, and he filed a petition for certiorari after the time specified in Supreme Court Rule 22(2) had expired.

Held:

1. The street skit in which petitioner participated was a "theatrical production" within the meaning of § 772(f). Pp. 398 U. S. 61-62.

2. The words "if the portrayal does not tend to discredit that armed force" in § 772(f) impose an unconstitutional restraint on freedom of speech, and must be stricken from the section to preserve its constitutionality. Pp. 398 U. S. 62-63.

3. The time requirement of Rule 22(2) is not jurisdictional and may be waived by the Court. Pp. 63-65.

414 F.2d 630, reversed.

Page 398 U. S. 59

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