Dombrowski v. Pfister 380 U.S. 479 (1965)

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DOMBROWSKI v. PFISTER 380 U.S. 479 (1965)

Dombrowski marks the high point of the Supreme Court's willingness to authorize federal district court interference with pending state criminal proceedings. When decided, Dombrowski seemed to suggest that such interference was warranted when the state statutes forming the basis of the prosecution were alleged to violate the First Amendment overbreadth doctrine. The chilling effect—a term first used in Dombrowski—on First Amendment rights of prosecutions under such statutes derived from the fact of the prosecution, thereby rendering successful defense of the prosecution an inadequate remedy for the chilling effect. Dombrowski was "reinterpreted" in younger v. harris (1971) and has since been of little precedential or practical importance.

Theodore Eisenberg

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Dombrowski v. Pfister 380 U.S. 479 (1965)

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