Appellant, a Jehovah Witness, attempted to distribute religious literature in Chickasaw, a town in Alabama, owned by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation. Appellant was told by the corporate authorities that the town was private property and that she would not be permitted to distribute her literature. She was also asked to leave and when she refused to do so was arrested and prosecuted under an Alabama trespass statute. In her defense, appellant contended that to apply this statute to her activities in Chickasaw would abridge her right to freedom of press and religion as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. She was convicted and the Alabama court of appeals upheld the conviction. The state supreme court denied certiorari, and the case came to the United States Supreme Court on appeal. Held, reversed. The town of Chickasaw, in effect, is no different from any other municipality. The mere difference in form should not serve as a basis for depriving persons of those rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and a state statute which punishes criminally such activities as were carried on by appellant is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Marsh v. Alabama, (U.S. 1946) 66 S. Ct. 276.8
George Brody S.Ed.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGION-WHAT CONSTITUTES STATE ACTION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol44/iss5/12