Samuels v. Mackell,
401 U.S. 66 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Samuels v. Mackell, 401 U.S. 66 (1971)

Samuels v. Mackell

No. 7

Argued April 1, 1969

Reargued April 29 and November 16, 1970

Decided February 23, 1971*

401 U.S. 66


Appellants, who had been indicted under New York's criminal anarchy law, sought declaratory as well as injunctive relief against their prosecutions, on the ground that the law is unconstitutional. A three-judge District Court upheld the law and dismissed the complaints.


1. Since there was no showing that appellants have suffered or will suffer great and immediate irreparable injury by virtue of their being prosecuted in the state courts, where they can make their constitutional contentions, there is no basis for federal injunctive relief. Younger v. Harris, ante, p. 401 U. S. 37. Pp. 401 U. S. 68-69.

2. The same principles that govern the propriety of federal injunctions of state criminal proceedings govern the issuance of federal declaratory judgments in connection with such proceedings, and appellants here should have been denied declaratory relief without consideration of the merits of their constitutional claims. Pp. 401 U. S. 69-74.

288 F.Supp. 348, affirmed.

BLACK, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and HARLAN, STEWART, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 401 U. S. 74. STEWART, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which HARLAN, J., joined, ante, p. 401 U. S. 54. BRENNAN, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which WHITE and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 401 U. S. 75.

Page 401 U. S. 67

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