Follett v. Town of McCormick/Concurrence Reed

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United States Supreme Court

321 U.S. 573


 Argued: Feb. 11, 1944. --- Decided: March 27, 1944

Mr. Justice REED, concurring.

My views on the constitutionality of ordinances of this type are set out at length in Jones v. Opelika, 316 U.S. 584, 62 S.Ct. 1231, 86 L.Ed. 1691, 141 A.L.R. 514, and in a dissent on the rehearing of the same case, 319 U.S. 117, 63 S.Ct. 891, 87 L.Ed. 1290. These views remain unchanged but they are not in accord with those announced by the Court.

My understanding of this Court's opinions in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 63 S.Ct. 870, 891, 87 L.Ed. 1292, 146 A.L.R. 81, and Jones v. Opelika, 319 U.S. 103, 63 S.Ct. 890, 87 L.Ed. 1290, is that distribution of religious literature in return for money when done as a method of spreading the distributor's religious beliefs is an exercise of religion within the First Amendment and therefore immune from interference by the requirement of a license. These opinions are now the law of the land.

As I see no difference in respect to the exercise of religion between an itinerant distributor and one who remains in one general neighborhood or between one who is active part time and another who is active all of his time, there is no occasion for me to state again views already rejected by a majority of the Court. Consequently, I concur in the conclusion reached in the present case.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).