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Cantwell v. Connecticut

Significance, Court Develops The "time, Place, And Manner" Rule, "time, Place, And Manner" Rule


Newton Cantwell


State of Connecticut

Appellant's Claim

That a state law requiring prior official approval before soliciting door-to-door violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Hayden C. Covington

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Edwin S. Pickett and Francis A. Pallotti

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Charles Evans Hughes, James Clark McReynolds, Frank Murphy, Stanley Forman Reed, Owen Josephus Roberts (writing for the Court), Harlan Fiske Stone

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 May 1940


While asserting that a state has the right to issue appropriate time, place, or manner restrictions on solicitation, the Court unanimously struck down the Connecticut statute as violative of the First Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879).
  • Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890).
  • Schneider v. New Jersey, 308 U.S. 147 (1939).
  • Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569 (1941).
  • Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943).


Eastland, Terry. Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993.

Further Readings

  • Church and State: The Supreme Court and the First Amendment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975.
  • McConnell, Michael W. "The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion." Harvard Law Review 103 (1990): 1410-1517.
  • Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court: The Cases that Define the Debate Over Church and State. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940