KUNZ V. NEW YORK, 340 U. S. 290 (1951)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kunz v. New York, 340 U.S. 290 (1951)

Kunz v. New York

No. 50

Argued October 17, 1950

Decided January 15, 1951

340 U.S. 290


1. A city ordinance which prescribes no appropriate standard for administrative action and gives an administrative official discretionary power to control in advance the right of citizens to speak on religious matters on the city streets is invalid under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 340 U. S. 290-295.

2. In 1946, appellant obtained from the city Police Commissioner a permit to hold religious meetings on the streets of New York City during that year only. It was revoked on evidence that he had ridiculed and denounced other religious beliefs, in violation of a criminal provision of the ordinance under which the permit was issued. The ordinance contained no provision for revocation of such permits, and no standard to guide administrative actions in granting or denying permits. In 1948, appellant's application for a similar permit was denied, and he was convicted for holding a religious meeting on the streets without a permit.

Held: The conviction is reversed. Pp. 340 U. S. 290-295.

300 N.Y. 273, 90 N.E.2d 455, reversed.

Appellant was convicted for holding a religious meeting on the city streets without a permit in violation of Administrative Code of N. Y. City, c. 18, § 435-7.0. The Court of Appeals of New York affirmed. 300 N.Y. 273, 90 N.E.2d 455. On appeal to this Court, reversed, p. 340 U. S. 295.

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