Marsh v. Alabama 326 U.S. 501 (1946)

views updated

MARSH v. ALABAMA 326 U.S. 501 (1946)

When a person sought to distribute religious literature on the streets of a company town, the Supreme Court, 5–3, upheld her first amendment claim against the owner's private property claims. Stressing the traditional role of free speech in town shopping districts open to the general public, Justice hugo l. black for the Court noted that, aside from private ownership, this town functioned exactly as did other towns which were constitutionally forbidden to ban leafleting. Marsh served as the basis for the later attempt, aborted in hudgens v. nlrb (1976), to extend First Amendment rights to users of privately owned shopping centers.

Martin Shapiro