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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NCAAP, 366 U.S. 293 (1961)

Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NCAAP

No. 294

Argued April 26, 1961

Decided May 22, 1961

366 U.S. 293


The State of Louisiana sued in a state court to enjoin the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from doing business in the State because of its failure to comply with a state law requiring certain types of organizations to file annually with the Secretary of State lists of their officers and members. That suit was removed to a Federal District Court, and appellees sued there for a judgment declaring unconstitutional that statute and another requiring each nontrading association to file annually an affidavit that none of the officers of any out-of-state association with which it is affiliated is a member of any Communist, Communist-front, or subversive organization. The cases were consolidated, and, after a hearing on affidavits and oral argument, the District Court entered a temporary injunction that denied relief to the State and its officers and enjoined them from enforcing thc two statutes in question.

Held: the judgment is affirmed. Pp. 366 U. S. 294-297.

(a) It is not consonant with due process to require a person to swear to a fact that he cannot be expected to know, or, alternatively, to refrain from a wholly lawful activity. Pp. 366 U. S. 294-295.

(b) The case is in a preliminary stage, and it is not now known what facts will be disclosed in further hearings before the injunction becomes final; but, if it be shown that disclosure of the Association's membership lists results in reprisals and hostility to members, such disclosure may not be required consistently with the First Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U. S. 449; Bates v. Little Rock, 361 U. S. 516. Pp. 366 U. S. 295-297.

181 F.Supp. 37 affirmed.

Page 366 U. S. 294

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