Bates v. City of Little Rock

361 U.S. 516
Bates v. City of Little Rock
Argued: November 18, 1959
Decided: February 23, 1960


Mr. Robert L. Carter, for petitioners.
Mr. Joseph C. Kemp, Little Rock, Ark., for respondent, City of Little rock.
No appearance for respondent, City of North Little Rock.
Mr. Justice STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.

Concurring Opinion


We concur in the judgment and substantially with the opinion because we think the facts show that the ordinances, as here applied, violate freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment which this Court has many times held was made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, as, for illustration, in Jones v. Opelika, 316 U. S. 584, at 316 U. S. 600, dissenting opinion adopted by the Court in 319 U. S. 319 U.S. 103; Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U. S. 105, at 319 U. S. 108; Kingsley Intern. Pictures Corp. v. Regents, 360 U. S. 684. And see cases cited in Speiser v. Randall, 357 U. S. 513, 357 U. S. 529, at 357 U. S. 530 (concurring opinion).

Moreover, we believe, as we indicated in United States v. Rumely, 345 U. S. 41, 345 U. S. 48, at 345 U. S. 56 (concurring opinion), that First Amendment rights are beyond abridgment either by legislation that directly restrains their exercise or by suppression or impairment through harassment, humiliation, or exposure by government. One of those rights, freedom of assembly, includes of course freedom of association; and it is entitled to no less protection than any other First Amendment right, as NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U. S. 449, at 357 U. S. 460, and De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U. S. 353, at 299 U. S. 363, hold. These are principles applicable to all people under our Constitution irrespective of their race, color, politics, or religion. That is, for us, the essence of the present opinion of the Court.

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