Lovell v. City of Griffin - 303 U.S. 444 (1938)


U.S. Supreme Court

Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938)

Lovell v. City of Griffin

No. 391

Argued February 4, 1938

Decided March 28, 1938

303 U.S. 444

Syllabus

1. Whether a federal question was properly presented to and decided by a state court is itself a federal question, to be decided by this Court upon appeal. P. 303 U. S. 450.

2. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which are protected by the First Amendment from infringement by Congress, are among the fundamental personal rights and liberties which are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from invasion by state action. P. 303 U. S. 450.

3. Municipal ordinances adopted under state authority constitute state action within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 303 U. S. 450.

4. A city ordinance forbidding as a nuisance the distribution, by hand or otherwise, of literature of any kind without first obtaining written permission from the City Manager violates the Fourteenth Amendment; strikes at the very foundation of the freedom of the press by subjecting it to license and censorship. P. 303 U. S. 450.

So held as applied to distribution of pamphlets and magazines in the nature of religious tracts.

5. The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It embraces pamphlets and leaflets. P. 303 U. S. 452.

6. One who is prosecuted for disobeying a license ordinance which is void on its face may contest its validity without having sought a permit under it. P. 303 U. S. 452.

55 Ga.App. 609, 191 S.E. 152, reversed.

Appeal from a judgment affirming a sentence imposed for violation of a city ordinance. The Supreme Court of the State denied a review.

Page 303 U. S. 447



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