The Supreme Court held that a city ordinance prohibiting the distribution of pamphlets without a permit violated the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Alma Lovell, a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church, was prosecuted for distributing religious literature in Griffin, Georgia, without the required permission from the city commissioner. The Supreme Court had earlier applied the First Amendment guarantee of free speech to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment in Gitlow v. New York
Speaking for an 8-0 majority, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes
Near v. Minnesota
Speech and press, freedom of