Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,500+ case briefs...

Prince v. Massachusetts

United States Supreme Court
321 U.S. 158 (1944)

Prince v. Massachusetts


Sarah Prince (defendant) had two young sons and custody of a nine-year-old niece, Betty Simmons. The family were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and both Prince and Simmons were ordained ministers. Prince distributed religious materials, and solicited funds therefor, on the streets of Brockton each week. She allowed the children to do the same until a school attendance officer warned her against the activity. On the evening of December 18, 1941, as Prince prepared to go out to distribute materials, the children begged to go with her. She relented. Prince and Simmons stood near a public intersection, approximately 20 feet apart from each other, holding up copies of “Watch Tower” and “Consolation” at five cents per copy. Simmons did not receive any money or distribute any materials that evening, but she had succeeded in doing so on previous occasions. Prince was charged by the state of Massachusetts (plaintiff) with violating its child labor laws, which prohibited specified child labor in public places. She appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rutledge, J.)

Dissent (Murphy, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 401,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,500 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial