NAACP v. Alabama,
360 U.S. 240 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

NAACP v. Alabama, 360 U.S. 240 (1959)

National Association for the Advancement

of Colored People v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson

No. 753.

Decided June 8, 1959*

360 U.S. 240


Having been led by both parties and the state of the record to treat as the sole issue before it on the merits the question whether Alabama could constitutionally compel petitioner to produce its membership lists in court, this Court reversed a decision of the Supreme Court of Alabama sustaining a conviction of contempt for failing to do so. 357 U. S. 357 U.S. 449. On remand of the case to the Supreme Court of Alabama for proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion of this Court, the State Supreme Court "again affirmed" the contempt conviction and fine which this Court had set aside -- on the ground that this Court was "mistaken" in considering that petitioner had complied with the production order except as to its membership lists.


1. Certiorari granted. P. 360 U. S. 241.

2. The judgment of the State supreme Court is reversed, since it is now too late for the State to claim that petitioner had failed to comply with the production order in other respects, that issue being foreclosed by this Court's prior disposition of the case. Pp. 360 U. S. 244-245.

3. Upon further proceedings, the trial court may require petitioner to produce any such additional items, not inconsistent with this and the earlier opinion of this Court, that may be appropriate, reasonable, and constitutional under the circumstances then appearing. P. 360 U. S. 245.

4. Assuming that the State Supreme Court will not fail to proceed promptly with the disposition of the matters left open under this Court's mandate for further proceedings, petitioner's application for a writ of mandamus is denied. P. 245.

268 Ala. 53, 109 So.2d 138. reversed.

Page 360 U. S. 241

Primary Holding

The Due Process Clause for the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all citizens to associate with organizations designed to advance beliefs and ideas.

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