Saia v. New York
|Saia v. People of the State of New York|
|Argued March 30, 1948
Decided June 4, 1948
|Full case name||Saia v. People of the State of New York|
|Citations||334 U.S. 558 (more)|
|New York's law prohibiting the use of sound amplification devices without consent from the chief of police is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech.|
|Majority||Douglas, joined by Black, Murphy, Vinson, Rutledge|
|Dissent||Frankfurter, joined by Reed, Burton|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 558 (1948), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that an ordinance which prohibited the use of sound amplification devices except with permission of the Chief of Police was unconstitutional on its face because it established a previous restraint on the right of free speech in violation of the First Amendment.
Facts of the case
Saia, a minister of the Jehovah's Witnesses, obtained from the Lockport Chief of Police permission to use sound equipment mounted on his car to amplify lectures on religious subjects. The lectures were given at a fixed place in a public park on designated Sundays. When this permit expired, he applied for another one but was refused on the ground that complaints had been made. Saia nevertheless used his equipment as planned on four occasions, but without a permit.
Saia was tried in Police Court for violations of the ordinance. It was undisputed that he used his equipment to amplify speeches in the park and that they were on religious subjects. Some witnesses testified that they were annoyed by the sound, though not by the content of the addresses; others were not disturbed by either. The court upheld the ordinance against the contention that it violated appellant's rights of freedom of speech, assembly, and worship under the Federal Constitution. Fines and jail sentences were imposed. His convictions were affirmed without opinion by the County Court for Niagara County and by the New York Court of Appeals, 297 N.Y. 659, 76 N.E.2d 323.
Decision of the Court
Justice Douglas delivered the opinion of the Court.
|This Jehovah's Witnesses-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|