In Milk Wagon Drivers Union v. Meadowmoor Dairies, ante, p. 287, we held that acts of picketing when blended with violence may have a significance which neutralizes the constitutional immunity which such acts would have in isolation. When we took this case, 310 U.S. 620, it seemed to present a similar problem. More thorough study of the record and full argument have reduced the issue to this: is the constitutional guarantee of freedom of discussion infringed by the common law policy of a state forbidding resort to peaceful persuasion through picketing merely because there is no immediate employer-employee dispute?

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The publishers of more than 1,200 newspapers are members of the Associated Press (AP), a cooperative *4 association incorporated under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York. Its business is the collection, assembly and distribution of news. The news it distributes is originally obtained by direct employees of the Association, employees of the member newspapers, and the employees of foreign independent news agencies with which AP has contractual relations, such as the Canadian Press. Distribution of the news is made through interstate channels of communication to the various newspaper members of the Association, who pay for it under an assessment plan which contemplates no profit to AP.

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The petitioners are a labor union and certain of its officers. The union membership consists of truck drivers occupied in the distribution of baked goods. The respondents Wohl and Platzman are, and for some years have *770 been, peddlers of baked goods. They buy from bakeries and sell and deliver to small retailers, and keep the difference between cost and selling price, which in the case of Wohl is approximately thirty-two dollars a week, and in the case of Platzman, about thirty-five dollars a week. Out of this each must absorb credit losses and maintain a delivery truck which he owns — but has registered in the name of his wife. Both are men of family. Neither has any employee or assistant. Both work seven days a week, Wohl putting in something over thirty-three hours a week, and Platzman about sixty-five hours a week. It was found that neither has any contract with the bakeries from whom he buys, and it does not appear that either had a contract with any customer.

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These two cases, while growing out of different circumstances and concerning different parties, both relate to the scope of our national constitutional policy safeguarding free speech and a free press. All of the petitioners were adjudged guilty and fined for contempt of court by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Their conviction rested upon comments pertaining to pending litigation which were published in newspapers. In the Superior Court, and later in the California Supreme Court, petitioners challenged the state's action as an abridgment, prohibited by the Federal Constitution, of freedom of *259 speech and of the press; but the Superior Court overruled this contention, and the Supreme Court affirmed.[1] The importance of the constitutional question prompted us to grant certiorari. 309 U.S. 649; 310 U.S. 623.

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In March 1996, California voters passed Proposition 198. Known as the Open Primary Act, the law changed the state's primary election from a closed to a blanket primary. In a blanket primary, voters can switch primaries for different offices. For instance, a registered Democrat can vote in the Republican primary for governor, the Libertarian primary for a state representative and in the Democratic primary for another office. Four political parties the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties contend that the law infringes on their free association rights to pick and choose their own candidates. In 1997, a federal district court judge ruled the blanket primary law constitutional. On appeal, the 9th Circuit affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the decision on January 21, 2000.

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Newton Cantwell and his two sons, Jesse and Russell, members of a group known as Jehovah's witnesses, and claiming to be ordained ministers, were arrested in New Haven, Connecticut, and each was charged by information in five counts, with statutory and common law offenses. After trial each of them was convicted of the common law offense of inciting a breach of the peace. On appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court the conviction of Jesse Cantwell was affirmed, but the conviction of Newton and Russell on that count was reversed and a new trial ordered as to them.

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This case presents the question whether regulations embodied in a municipal ordinance abridge the freedom of speech or of the press secured against state invasion by the Fourteenth Amendment.[1]

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The facts of this case are simple. Ritter, the respondent, made an agreement with a contractor named Plaster for the construction of a building at 2810 Broadway, Houston, Texas. The contract gave Plaster the right to make his own arrangements regarding the employment of labor in the construction of the building. He employed non-union carpenters and painters. The respondent was also *723 the owner of Ritter's Cafe, a restaurant at 418 Broadway, a mile and a half away. So far as the record discloses, the new building was wholly unconnected with the business of Ritter's Cafe. All of the restaurant employees were members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Alliance, Local 808. As to their restaurant work, there was no controversy between Ritter and his employees or their union. Nor did the carpenters' and painters' unions, the petitioners here, have any quarrel with Ritter over his operation of the restaurant. No construction work of any kind was performed at the restaurant, and no carpenters or painters were employed there.

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Appellant, a member of the sect known as Jehovah's Witnesses, was convicted in the municipal court of Rochester, New Hampshire, for violation of Chapter 378, § 2, of the Public Laws of New Hampshire:"No person shall address any offensive, derisive or annoying word to any other person who is lawfully in any street or other public place, nor call him by any offensive or derisive name, nor make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with intent to deride, offend or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business or occupation."The complaint charged that appellant, "with force and arms, in a certain public place in said city of Rochester, to wit, on the public sidewalk on the easterly side of Wakefield Street, near unto the entrance of the City Hall, did unlawfully repeat, the words following, addressed to the complainant, that is to say, `You are a God damned racketeer' and `a damned Fascist and the whole government of Rochester are Fascists or agents of Fascists,' the same being offensive, derisive and annoying words and names."Upon appeal there was a trial de novo of appellant before a jury in the Superior Court. He was found guilty and the judgment of conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State. 91 N.H. 310, 18 A.2d 754.

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Appellants are five "Jehovah's Witnesses" who, with sixty-three others of the same persuasion, were convicted in the municipal court of Manchester, New Hampshire, for violation of a state statute prohibiting a "parade or *571 procession" upon a public street without a special license.

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Petitioners, Jehovah's Witnesses, were convicted in prosecutions for absence without leave from a civilian public service camp, in violation of § 11 of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. The defense in each case was that the local board's classification of the petitioner as a conscientious objector, rather than as an exempt minister of religion was invalid.

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331 U.S. 367 (1947) CRAIG ET AL. v. HARNEY, SHERIFF. No. 241. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 9, 1947. Decided May 19, 1947. CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS. *368 Marcellus G. Eckhardt and Ireland Graves argued the cause for petitioners. With them on the brief was Charles L. Black. Jerry D’Unger argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was John S. McCampbell. Elisha Hanson and Letitia Armistead filed a brief for the American Newspaper Publishers Association, as amicus curiae, urging reversal. Opinion of the Court by MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, announced by […]

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This case presents questions as to the validity of an order issued by petitioner, the Postmaster General, which directed that mail addressed to some of respondents be returned to the senders marked "Fraudulent," and that postal money order sums payable to their order be returned to the remitters.

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Petitioners brought this suit in the United States District Court for Western Pennsylvania to restrain threatened criminal prosecution of them in the state courts by respondents, the City of Jeannette (a Pennsylvania municipal corporation) and its Mayor, for violation of a city ordinance which prohibits the solicitation of orders for merchandise without first procuring a license from the city authorities and paying a license tax. The ordinance as applied is held to be an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech, press and religion in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, ante, p. 105. The questions decisive of the present case are whether the district court has statutory jurisdiction as a federal court to entertain the suit, and whether petitioners have by their pleadings and proof established a cause of action in equity.

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This is a companion case to Eagles v. Samuels, No. 59, decided this day, ante p. 304. Certiorari also brings it here from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. That court followed the same procedure here as it did in Samuels' case; it reversed the District Court which had dismissed the writ of habeas corpus brought on behalf of Horowitz, and remanded the cause to the District Court with directions to discharge him from military custody. 151 F.2d 801.

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Samuels registered under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940,[1] as amended, and thereafter claimed *306 exemption from military service under § 5 (d) of the Act. That exemption includes not only regular or duly ordained ministers of religion but also "students who are preparing for the ministry in theological or divinity schools recognized as such for more than one year prior" to the Act. He was classified I-A and inducted into the Army. Thereafter he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court, seeking release from military custody on the ground that he was entitled to an exemption under § 5 (d) of the Act and that his classification as I-A was unlawful. There was a return and a hearing, and the District Court ordered the writ dismissed. On appeal the Circuit Court of Appeals, in reliance on United States v. Cain, 149 F.2d 338, reversed and remanded the cause to the District Court with directions to "discharge" Samuels "from military custody, without prejudice to further lawful proceedings under the Selective Service Act." 151 F.2d 801, 802.

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A New Jersey statute authorizes its local school districts to make rules and contracts for the transportation of children to and from schools.[1] The appellee, a township board of education, acting pursuant to this statute, authorized reimbursement to parents of money expended by them for the bus transportation of their children on regular busses operated by the public transportation system. Part of this money was for the payment of transportation of some children in the community to Catholic parochial schools. These church schools give their students, in addition to secular education, regular religious instruction conforming to the religious tenets and modes of worship of the Catholic Faith. The superintendent of these schools is a Catholic priest.

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Appellant was convicted of violating an ordinance of the town of McCormick, South Carolina which provided: ". . . the following license on business, occupation and professions to be paid by the person or persons carrying on or engaged in such business, occupation or professions within the corporate limits of the Town of McCormick, South Carolina: Agents selling books, per day $1.00, per year $15.00." Appellant is a Jehovah's Witness and has been certified by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society as "an ordained minister of Jehovah God to preach the gospel of God's kingdom under Christ Jesus." He is a resident of McCormick, South Carolina, where he went from house to house distributing certain books. He obtained his living from the money received; he had no other source of income. He claimed that he merely offered the books for a "contribution." But there was evidence that he "offered to and did sell the books." Admittedly he had no license from the town and refused to obtain one. He moved for a directed verdict of not guilty at the close of the evidence, claiming that the ordinance restricted freedom of worship in violation of the First Amendment which the Fourteenth Amendment makes applicable to the States. The motion was overruled and appellant was found guilty by the jury in the Mayor's Court. That judgment was affirmed by the Circuit Court of General Sessions for McCormick County and then by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. The case is here on appeal. Judicial Code, § 237 (a), 28 U.S.C. § 344 (a).

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This case here on appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1257 raises questions concerning the constitutional power of a state to apply its anti-trade-restraint law[1] to labor union activities, and to enjoin union members from peaceful picketing carried on as an essential and inseparable part of a course of conduct which is in violation of the state *492 law. The picketing occurred in Kansas City, Missouri. The injunction was issued by a Missouri state court.

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These cases carry forward another step the sequence in decision represented by Falbo, Billings, Estep and Smith.[1] Each petitioner has been convicted for violating § 11 of the Selective Training and Service Act (54 Stat. 894, 50 U.S.C. App. § 311), Dodez for failing to report for work of national importance after being ordered to do so and Gibson for having unlawfully deserted the camp to which he had been assigned for such work.[2]

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