Niemotko v. Maryland 340 U.S. 268 (1951)

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NIEMOTKO v. MARYLAND 340 U.S. 268 (1951)

the vinson court here unanimously reversed the convictions of two Jehovah's Witnesses who had been charged with disorderly conduct for attempting to hold religious services in a city park without a permit. Local officials had refused to issue the permit, citing ordinances or administrative standards that governed the procedure, but such permits had been routinely approved for other religious and patriotic groups. The city's refusal to issue a permit to the Jehovah's Witnesses under these circumstances, the Court held, was both an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and a denial of equal protection.

Michael E. Parrish