Municipal codes in four separate cities—Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Worchester, Massachusetts; and Irvington, New Jersey—prohibited the distribution of handbills and pamphlets in public places such as streets, parks, and sidewalks. They also prohibited the hand-to-hand distribution of these materials to private residences. Clara Schneider (defendant) was a Jehovah’s Witness and was convicted with other Jehovah’s Witnesses for violating these ordinances in various cities. They challenged their convictions in various state courts on the grounds that the codes were unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari and consolidated all cases.