Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization
United States Supreme Court
307 U.S. 496 (1939)
In 1937, several members of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) (plaintiff) gathered in Jersey City, New Jersey for a recruitment drive and other union activities. The plan involved canvassing city streets and parks to distribute materials to New Jersey citizens. Under the orders of Mayor Frank Hague (defendant), police seized the group’s materials and refused to allow the meeting to take place. Hague referred to CIO members as Communists and argued that he was enforcing a city ordinance that forbade gatherings of groups that advocated obstruction of government by unlawful means. CIO filed suit against Hague and several other city officials in federal district court on the grounds that the ordinance violated their First Amendment right to freedom of assembly. The district court found that CIO’s rights had been abridged by Hague’s conduct and held that the ordinance was unconstitutional. The United Sates Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)