less than 1 minute read

Cox v. New Hampshire


Prior to the decision in Cox, the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, numerous ordinances imposing permit requirements on expressive activity in public places, such as streets and parks, because the ordinances gave government officials uncontrolled discretion whether to issue the permits. After Cox, local governments were allowed to regulate competing uses of public forums by using a permit scheme to impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on those wishing to hold a march, parade, or rally. In addition, Cox allowed local governments to give a different degree of protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to those who communicated ideas by patrolling, marching, and picketing on streets and highways and those who communicated ideas by pure speech. Permit systems were deemed constitutionally valid so long as the discretion of the issuing official was limited to questions of times, places, and manners, and was not based on the content of the message. The reasonable time, place and manner restriction of Cox was subsequently applied to governments' attempts to regulate a wide range of religious, social, economic, and political activity.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953Cox v. New Hampshire - Significance, Parade Permit Constitutional, Impact, Related Cases