Landmark Civil Rights Case NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co (1982)

In the landmark civil rights case NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982), a local branch of the NAACP instituted an economic boycott against white merchants in Claiborne County, Mississippi to pressure elected officials to adopt several racial justice measures. In response, the merchants sued the NAACP for tortious interference with business.

The court found for the merchants and ordered the NAACP to pay $3.5 million in damages, a verdict the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the verdict, holding that “the boycott clearly involved constitutionally protected activity” through which the NAACP “sought to bring about political, social, and economic change.”

See NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982).

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