Library of Congress: Striking Seamen picket Commerce Department. Washington, D.C. Jan. 18. A cold drenching rain failed to dampen the spirit of nearly 500 east coast seamen from Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, as they picketed the Commerce Department today as a protest against provisions of the Copeland Safety-At-Sea Act

Thornhill v. Alabama

By April 22, 1940

In Thornhill v. Alabama, the Supreme Court strikes down an Alabama law prohibiting loitering and picketing “without a just cause or legal excuse” near businesses. The Court writes: “The freedom of speech and of the press guaranteed by the Constitution embraces at the least the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully all matters of public concern without previous restraint or fear of subsequent punishment.”

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