Thursday, 8 March 2018

75 years ago: U.S. Supreme Court rules against Texas ordinances restricting propagation of religious materials on the street

On March 8, 1943, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 9-0 in the case of Jamison v. Texas that a city ordinance in Dallas prohibiting the distribution of handbills on the street violated violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because the material being distributed was religious in its nature. In the similar case of Largent v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that a city ordinance in Paris, Texas that required a permit in order to solicit orders for books was unconstitutional as applied to the distribution of religious publications. The plaintiffs in both cases were Jehovah's Witnesses.

These two decisions in favour of religious freedom in light of subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, but that's a subject for another post.

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