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Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization

Significance, Justices Uphold A Right Of Access To Public Places


Frank Hague


Committee for Industrial Organization

Petitioner's Claim

That city officials' use of ordinances requiring permits for public meetings and public distribution of literature intentionally and unconstitutionally interfered with union activities.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Charles Hershenstein, Edward J. O'Mara, James A. Hamill

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Morris L. Earnst, Spaulding Frazer

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, Charles Evans Hughes, Stanley Forman Reed, Owen Josephus Roberts (writing for the Court), Harlan Fiske Stone

Justices Dissenting

Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds (Felix Frankfurter and William O. Douglas did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 June 1939


By a vote of 5-2, the Supreme Court struck down the ordinances as violative of the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly.

Related Cases

  • United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875).
  • Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569 (1941).

Further Readings

  • Abernathy, M. Glenn. The Right of Assembly and Association, 2nd ed. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1981.
  • Forbath, William E. Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.
  • Tomlins, Christopher L. The State and the Unions: Labor Relations, Law, and the Organized Labor Movement in America, 1880-1960. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Additional topics

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