Mills v. Alabama
Annotate this Case
384 U.S. 214 (1966)
U.S. Supreme Court
Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214 (1966)
Mills v. Alabama
Argued April 19, 1966
Decided May 23, 1966
384 U.S. 214
Appellant, a Birmingham, Alabama, newspaper editor, was arrested on a complaint of violating § 285 of the Alabama Corrupt Practices Act by writing and publishing on election day an editorial urging adoption in that election of the mayor-council form of government. Section 285 proscribes electioneering or soliciting votes on election day for or against any proposition or candidate involved in the election. The trial court sustained demurrers on the grounds that the statute violated state and federal free speech guarantees. The Alabama Supreme Court, holding the statutory election-day restriction reasonable or "within the field of reasonableness," reversed and remanded the case for trial.
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the appeal. Notwithstanding the remand of the case, the Alabama Supreme Court's judgment was "final" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1257, because appellant's conviction in any subsequent trial is inevitable in view of that court's ruling that the Alabama statute is constitutional and appellant's concession that he wrote and published the editorial. Pp. 384 U. S. 217-218.
2. A state statute making it a crime for a newspaper editor to publish an editorial on election day urging people to vote in a particular way flagrantly violates the First Amendment, applied to the States by the Fourteenth, a major purpose of which was to protect free discussion of governmental affairs. Pp. 384 U. S. 218-220.
278 Ala. 188, 176 So.2d 884, reversed and remanded.
Disclaimer: Official Supreme Court case law is only found in the print version of the United States Reports. Justia case law is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site. Please check official sources.