Legal Principle at Issue
Whether a city ordinance that forbade public assembly in the streets or parks of the city without a permit is an unconstitutional violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments freedoms of speech and assembly.
Affirmed. The ordinances were struck down as unconstitutional.
The Committee for Industrial Organization gathered in New Jersey to initiate a recruitment drive. Police shut down the meeting based on a city ordinance that forbade labor meetings in public. The CIO filed suit against several city officials, challenging the ordinance on First Amendment grounds.
Importance of Case
The Court held that the actions taken by police violated the First Amendment. The Court reasoned that the public has long used streets and parks to assemble and transmit ideas and speech on issues of public concern and that it was unconstitutional to prevent groups from meeting there.