Matthew Musladin was on trial for the murder of Tom Strudder in California. At his trial, members of the Strudder family wore buttons with a picture of Strudder on them. They sat in the seating area reserved for the public. The buttons were about two to four inches in diameter and were visible to the judge, jury, prosecutor, defense lawyers, and the defendant. The trial judge denied a defense motion to order the members of the family to remove the buttons, arguing that they could be used to unfairly prejudice the jury, and thus deny Musladin a fair trial by an impartial jury as required by the Sixth Amendment, as incorporated to the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Musladin was convicted, and his conviction was upheld by the California state courts. Musladin then filed a habeas corpus suit in appropriate U.S. District Court. A habeas corpus suit allows a defendant to sue the government, arguing that the government has violated the defendant's rights. If the court agrees, it releases the defendant. The U.S. District Court rejected the defendant's argument, but the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the buttons could have prejudiced the jury. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this case. Whether courtroom spectators wearing buttons showing a picture of a murder victim during the trial of the alleged murderer may deprive the defendant of his Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury, as applied to the states via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They ruled against him 9-0. The Supreme Court vacated (set aside) the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the buttons could have prejudiced the jury. This reinstated the state court decision that wearing such buttons did not deprive the defendant of an impartial jury.