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California Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Wearing of Nazi Uniform

July 7, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The California State Senate passed a bill recently by a 21 to 15 vote prohibiting the wearing of a Nazi uniform in a public place when wearing one is likely to cause a disturbance. After a tough battle in the Assembly, the bill, authored by Senators Alan Robbins and Nate Holden, fixed a $250 fine and a jail sentence for violations which include a swastika as part of the uniform, according to a report in the B’nai B’rith Messenger.

Citing the precedent-setting statement by former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in which he stated that shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is equivalent to riot incitement, Holden argued that such a bill was justifiable to prevent violent reactions which might occur if persons donning Nazi garb were permitted to parade in neighborhoods of Holocaust survivors.

Holden went on to praise the state of New York and countries such as West Germany that have already outlawed wearing the uniform in public places. He said he believed that the desire to instigate violence is part of a person’s reason for putting on the Nazi uniform. The bill was handed over to the State Assembly where it awaits further action.

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