Bates v. City of Little Rock

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Bates v. City of Little Rock
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued November 18, 1959
Decided February 23, 1960
Full case nameBates et al. v. City of Little Rock et al.
Citations361 U.S. 516 (more)
80 S. Ct. 412; 4 L. Ed. 2d 480; 1960 U.S. LEXIS 1601
Case history
PriorCertiorari to the Supreme Court of Arkansas
Subsequent229 Ark. 819, 319 S. W. 2d 37, reversed.
Holding
State governments cannot compel the disclosure of an organization's membership lists when it inhibits freedom of association.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Felix Frankfurter
William O. Douglas · Tom C. Clark
John M. Harlan II · William J. Brennan Jr.
Charles E. Whittaker · Potter Stewart
Case opinions
MajorityStewart, joined by unanimous court
ConcurrenceBlack and Douglas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I and XIV

Bates v. City of Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516 (1960), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbade state government to compel the disclosure of an organization's membership lists via a tax-exemption regulatory scheme.[1]

This is a companion case to NAACP v. Alabama (1958), which also held that NAACP membership records are protected by First Amendment freedom of association, and Talley v. California (1960), which held that Talley, a civil rights activist, could not be fined for an anonymous flyer. These cases help establish the right to privacy under the First Amendment, expanded on in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Brown v. Socialist Workers 74 Campaign Committee (1982).[citation needed]

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