• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court’s decision protected the right of local government officials to place nondiscriminatory time, place, and manner restrictions on demonstrators.

Cox is part of a series of cases establishing the government’s right to place reasonable time, place, and manner regulations on assemblies as long as these laws do not prevent people from speaking out or favor some speakers over others. It is also one of a number of cases in which the Jehovah’s WitnessesJehovah’s Witnesses challenged various laws as denials of their free exercise of religion. Although the Jehovah’s Witnesses were often successful, they did not prevail in Cox.[case]Cox v. New Hampshire[Cox v. New Hampshire]Assembly and association, freedom of;Cox v. New Hampshire[Cox v. New Hampshire]Time, place, and manner regulations;Cox v. New Hampshire[Cox v. New Hampshire]

A Manchester, New Hampshire, city ordinance required groups to have a parade license and pay a fee. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses marched single file through city streets carrying placards to advertise a meeting but refused to get a license or pay the fee. Upon their arrest, their leader argued that they were not having a parade. Further, they also asserted that the Manchester ordinance was vague, unreasonable, and arbitrary and deprived them of their First Amendment rights as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. In its unanimous decision, the Court upheld the ordinance solely as a means of regulating traffic and reasonably providing for orderly, safe streets.

Adderley v. Florida

Assembly and association, freedom of

Brandenburg v. Ohio

Cox v. Louisiana

First Amendment

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Symbolic speech

Time, place, and manner regulations

Whitney v. California

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