FSM Legal


This page is a hub for sources and documents of the FSM Legal Defense Effort and the Court Documents.

Lisa Rubens
Free Speech Movement Oral History Project
Malcolm Burnstein
August 1, 2000

Rubens: I mean, did you feel the university had overstepped its bounds?
Burnstein: Oh, there’s no question about it because the university is a public institution. The First Amendment prohibits the government—and that includes state and local government as well as the federal government—from censoring the content of speech, except in very limited circumstances. It certainly prohibits censoring the content of political speech. That’s exactly what the University of California was doing. It was censoring the content of political speech. It was unconstitutionally doing so. The students were absolutely right in their initially very modest demand, that they be allowed to re-establish tables at the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph, at the entrance to the university. That’s all they wanted to do. That’s what they had been doing for years. When the university shut that down, all they wanted to do was put their tables back there. They ended up, of course, with tables everywhere on the campus.

Rubens: Do you have a recollection of the stance you took, what you advised them?
Burnstein: We talked about what the constitutional requirements were. At that point, it became fairly clear that the students’ position was not only defensible but quite modest given the constitutional standards that apply to the university. The university can enforce time, place, and manner rules about speech. But it can enforce no rules about the content of speech. Now, there are current Supreme Court cases that say public institutions may sometimes ban all nonacademic speech. But that wasn’t the case then. Of course, the university wasn’t trying to ban all non-academic speech, only some political speech.

David Goines, The Free Speech M ovement, p256: "The only one that ran well, aside from Central Central (as it was called at one point), was Legal Central, which kept track of all the defendants after the arrests of December 3. David Stein was in charge of it for two and a half years, and it’s the only one that ran as well as it could have, with almost no hang-ups or personality difficulties."
"David Stein kept the defendants’ list [802] up to date for two-and-a-half years, until all the fines had been paid, all the probations completed and all the jail terms served, and then that was the end of it."

Defendant's Letters transcribed by the University of California Bancroft Library (grouped by last initial of writer)


The Defender: Free Speech Trial Newsletter

4/18/1965 scan as pdf 8pp text
4/25/1965 scan as pdf 6pp text
4/30/2013     text
5/9/1965 scan as pdf 7pp  
5/16/1965 scan as pdf 8pp  
5/23/1965 scan as pdf 12pp text
5/30/1965 scan as pdf 10pp text


1965   Summary of the Sproul Hall Sit In and Arrests (confidential) 10pp text  
7/9/1965 Free Student Union The Trial 4pp    



January, 1965
Certain Faculty Members
Municipal Court: A Suggestion for Dismissal 90 pp text  
1/26/1965   Motion for Pretrial Hearings and for Consolidation for Purposes of Pretrial Hearings   text  
1966 Malcolm Burnstein, et al. Appellants' Opening Brief   text  
October, 1966 Norman Leonard, et al. US Supreme Court Jurisdictional Statement Mario Savio et al 44pp pdf  
April 1, 1965   The People of the State of California, Plaintiff, vs Savio Nos. C-7468 through C-7547   text  
  The Juveniles Arrestees In re Bacon [Civ. No. 22751. First Dist., Div. One. Feb. 8, 1966.]      


Peter Franck

October 17, 1964 Interview

Malcolm (Mal) Burnstein 2000 Lisa Rubens Oral History
Malcolm (Mal) Burnstein 1963-1994 Papers
Mal Burnstein letter to Mike Tigar

1966 Burnstein & Tigar CA Law Review

Richard Buxbaum 2000-01 Lisa Rubens Oral History
Siegfried Hesse 1999 Lisa Rubens Oral History

The FSM Lawyers' Correspondence with Defendants (60 pages)
Parents' Committees (12 pp)
Fundraising & Support (24 pp)
Position Statements (2pp)
Santa Rita (7pp)
Trial Documents





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