REYNOLDS v. TENNESSEE
Annotate this Case
414 U.S. 1163 (1974)
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U.S. Supreme Court
REYNOLDS v. TENNESSEE , 414 U.S. 1163 (1974)
414 U.S. 1163
State of TENNESSEE.
Supreme Court of the United States
January 21, 1974
On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Mr. Justice BRENNAN and Mr. Justice MARSHALL would also grant the petition for certiorari.
Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, dissenting.
This case involves a demonstration occasioned by the appearance of President Nixon at the week-long Billy Graham East Tennessee Crusade being held at a football stadium in Knoxville. The petitioner, an ordained Methodist minister and a professor of religious studies, was convicted under a Tennessee statute which in relevant part proscribes 'willfully disturb[ing] or disquiet[ing] any assemblage of persons met for religious worship . . . by noise, profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior, or any other acts.'1 Disruption of the meeting is not an element of the crime under the statute, and the jury was instructed that 'if you find from the evidence that the defendants indulged in any indecent or improper conduct, so near the worshipping assembly, if you find there was a worshipping assembly present on this occasion, as to attract the notice and attention of persons who were present as a part of the assembly-then, under such a state of facts, if they exist, the defendants would be guilty, and this would be so, whether witnesses say they were disturbed or not.' (Tr., p. 518). No evidence was introduced at trial that [414 U.S. 1163 , 1165]