In October, 1935, the petitioner discharged Morris Watson, an employee in its New York office. The American Newspaper Guild, a labor organization, filed a charge with the Board alleging that Watson's discharge was in violation of § 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which confers on employees the right to organize, to form, join, or assist labor organizations to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection; that the petitioner had engaged in unfair labor practices contrary to subsections (1) and (3) of § 8 by interfering with, restraining, or coercing Watson in the exercise of the rights guaranteed him by § 7, and by discriminating against him in respect of his tenure of employment and discouraging his membership in a labor organization.

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Newton Cantwell and his two sons, Jesse and Russell — who identified as Jehovah's Witnesses and claimed to be ordained ministers — were arrested in New Haven, Connecticut after distributing religious literature for inciting a breach of the peace and violating a local ordinance requiring solicitors to obtain a permit.

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307 U.S. 496 59 S.Ct. 954 83 L.Ed. 1423 HAGUE, Mayor, et al., v. COMMITTEE FOR INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION et al. No. 651. Argued Feb. 27, 28, 1939. Decided June 5, 1939. [Syllabus from pages 496-500 intentionally omitted] Messrs. Charles Hershenstein, Edward J. O’Mara, and James A. Hamill, all of Jersey City, N.J., for petitioners. Messrs. Morris L. Ernst. of New York City, and Spaulding Frazer, of Newark, N.J., for respondents. Mr. Justice BUTLER: The judgment of the court in this case is that the decree is modified and as modified affirmed. Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER and Mr. Justice DOUGLAS took no […]

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The appellant claims his conviction in a state court deprived him of his liberty contrary to the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment. He assigns as error the action of the Supreme Court of Georgia in overruling his claim and refusing him a discharge upon habeas corpus. The petition for the writ, presented to the Superior Court of Fulton County, asserted the appellant was unlawfully detained by the appellee as sheriff under the supposed authority of a judgment pronouncing him guilty of attempting to incite insurrection, as defined in § 56 of the Penal Code, and sentencing him to imprisonment *244 for not less than eighteen nor more than twenty years. Attached were copies of the judgment and the indictment and a statement of the evidence upon which the verdict and judgment were founded. The petition alleged the judgment and sentence were void and appellant's detention illegal because the statute under which he was convicted denies and illegally restrains his freedom of speech and of assembly and is too vague and indefinite to provide a sufficiently ascertainable standard of guilt, and further alleged that there had been no adjudication by any court of the constitutional validity of the statute as applied to appellant's conduct. A writ issued. The appellee answered, demurred specially to, and moved to strike, so much of the petition as incorporated the evidence taken at the trial. At the hearing the statement of the evidence was identified and was conceded by the appellee to be full and accurate. The court denied the motion to strike, overruled the special demurrer and an objection to the admission of the trial record, decided that the statute, as construed and applied in the trial of the appellant, did not infringe his liberty of speech and of assembly but ran afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment because too vague and indefinite to provide a sufficiently ascertainable standard of guilt, and ordered the prisoner's discharge from custody. The appellee took the case to the Supreme Court of Georgia, assigning as error the ruling upon his demurrer, motion, and objection, and the decision against the validity of the statute. The appellant, in accordance with the state practice, also appealed, assigning as error the decision with respect to his right of free speech and of assembly. The two appeals were separately docketed but considered in a single opinion which reversed the judgment on the appellee's appeal and affirmed on that of the appellant,[1] concluding: "Under *245 the pleadings and the evidence, which embraced the record on the trial that resulted in the conviction, the court erred, in the habeas corpus proceeding, in refusing to remand the prisoner to the custody of the officers."

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Four cases are here, each of which presents the question whether regulations embodied in a municipal ordinance *154 abridge the freedom of speech and of the press secured against state invasion by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.[1]

No. 13.

The Municipal Code of the City of Los Angeles, 1936, provides:"Sec. 28.00. `Hand-Bill' shall mean any hand-bill, dodger, commercial advertising circular, folder, booklet, letter, card, pamphlet, sheet, poster, sticker, banner, notice or other written, printed or painted matter calculated to attract attention of the public.""Sec. 28.01. No person shall distribute any hand-bill to or among pedestrians along or upon any street, sidewalk or park, or to passengers on any street car, or throw, place or attach any hand-bill in, to, or upon any automobile or other vehicle."The appellant was charged in the Municipal Court with a violation of § 28.01. Upon his trial it was proved that he distributed handbills to pedestrians on a public sidewalk and had more than three hundred in his possession for that purpose. Judgment of conviction was entered and sentence imposed. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County affirmed the judgment.[2] That court being the highest court in the State authorized to pass upon such a case, an appeal to this court was allowed.

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March 20, 1942, the State of Mississippi enacted a statute[1] the title of which declares that it is intended to *584 secure the peace and safety of the United States and of the State of Mississippi during war and to prohibit acts detrimental to public peace and safety. The first section, with which alone we are here concerned, provides:"That any person who individually, or as a member of any organization, association, or otherwise, shall intentionally preach, teach, or disseminate any teachings, creed, theory, or set of alleged principles, orally, or by means of a phonograph or other contrivance of any kind or nature, or by any other means or method, or by the distribution of any sort of literature, or written or printed matter, designed and calculated to encourage violence, sabotage, or disloyalty to the government of the United States, or the state of Mississippi, or who by action or speech, advocates the cause of the enemies of the United States or who gives information as to the military operations, or plans of defense or military secrets of the nation or this state, by speech, letter, map or picture which would incite any sort of racial distrust, disorder, prejudices or hatreds, or which reasonably tends to create an attitude of stubborn refusal to salute, honor or respect the flag or government of the United States, or of the state of Mississippi, shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary until treaty of peace be declared by the United States but such imprisonment shall not exceed ten years."At the June 1942 term of the Madison County Circuit Court, Taylor, the appellant in No. 826, was indicted for orally disseminating teachings designed and calculated to encourage disloyalty to the government of the United States and that of the State of Mississippi; and for orally disseminating teachings and distributing literature and printed matter reasonably tending to create an attitude of stubborn refusal to salute, honor, and respect the flag and government of the United States and of the State of *585 Mississippi, and designed and calculated to encourage disloyalty to the government of the United States.

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Overruled

The respondent, a citizen of Florida, owns a former United States Navy submarine which he exhibits for profit. *53 In 1940 he brought it to New York City and moored it at a State pier in the East River. He prepared and printed a handbill advertising the boat and soliciting visitors for a stated admission fee. On his attempting to distribute the bill in the city streets, he was advised by the petitioner, as Police Commissioner, that this activity would violate § 318 of the Sanitary Code, which forbids distribution in the streets of commercial and business advertising matter,[1] but was told that he might freely distribute handbills solely devoted to "information or a public protest."

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