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CLARK, J., dissenting.
weigh the circumstances and . . . appraise the substantiality of the reasons advanced . Id., at 161. The Court here, however, makes no appraisal of the circumstances, or the substantiality of the claims of the litigants, but strikes down the ordinance as being “void on its face.” I cannot be a party to using such a device as an escape from the requirements of our cases, the latest of which was handed down only last month. Bates v. Little Rock, 361 U. S. 516.1
Therefore, before passing upon the validity of the ordinance, I would weigh the interests of the public in its enforcement against the claimed right of Talley. The record is barren of any claim, much less proof, that he will suffer any injury whatever by identifying the handbill with his name. Unlike N. A. A. C. P. v. Alabama, 357 U. S. 449 (1958), which is relied upon, there is neither allegation nor proof that Talley or any group sponsoring him would suffer "economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion [or] other manifestations of public hostility.” Id., at 462. Talley makes no showing whatever to support his contention that a restraint upon his freedom of speech will result from the enforcement of the ordinance. The existence of such a restraint is necessary before we can strike the ordinance down.
But even if the State had this burden, which it does not, the substantiality of Los Angeles' interest in the enforcement of the ordinance sustains its validity. Its chief law enforcement officer says that the enforcement of the ordinance prevents “fraud, deceit, false advertising, negligent use of words, obscenity, and libel," and, as we have said, that such was its purpose. In the absence of
1 “When it is shown that state action threatens significantly to impinge upon constitutionally protected freedom it becomes the duty of this Court to determine whether the action bears a reasonable relationship to the achievement of the governmental purpose asserted as its justification.” 361 U. S., at 525.
any showing to the contrary by Talley, this appears to me entirely sufficient.
I stand second to none in supporting Talley's right of free speech—but not his freedom of anonymity. The Constitution says nothing about freedom of anonymous speech. In fact, this Court has approved laws requiring no less than Los Angeles' ordinance. I submit that they control this case and require its approval under the attack made here. First, Lewis Publishing Co. v. Morgan, 229 U.S. 288 (1913), upheld an Act of Congress requiring any newspaper using the second-class mails to publish the names of its editor, publisher, owner, and stockholders. 39 U. S. C. $ 233. Second, in the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2 U. S. C. $ 267, Congress requires those engaged in lobbying to divulge their identities and give "a modicum of information" to Congress. United States v. Harriss, 347 U. S. 612, 625 (1954). Third, the several States have corrupt practices acts outlawing, inter alia, the distribution of anonymous publications with reference to political candidates. While these statutes are leveled at political campaign and election practices, the underlying ground sustaining their validity applies with equal force here.
No civil right has a greater claim to constitutional protection or calls for more rigorous safeguarding than voting rights. In this area the danger of coercion and reprisals—economic and otherwise—is a matter of common knowledge. Yet these statutes, disallowing anonymity in promoting one's views in election campaigns, have expressed the overwhelming public policy of the Nation. Nevertheless the Court is silent about this impressive authority relevant to the disposition of this case.
2 Thirty-six States have statutes prohibiting the anonymous distribution of materials relating to elections. E. g.: Kan. Gen. Stat., 1949, § 25–1714; Minn. Stat. Ann. $ 211.08; Page's Ohio Rev. Code Ann. $ 3599.09; Purdon's Pa. Stat. Ann., Title 25, $ 3546.
CLARK, J., dissenting.
All three of the types of statutes mentioned are designed to prevent the same abuses-libel, slander, false accusations, etc. The fact that some of these statutes are aimed at elections, lobbying, and the mails makes their restraint no more palatable, nor the abuses they prevent less deleterious to the public interest, than the present ordinance.
All that Los Angeles requires is that one who exercises his right of free speech through writing or distributing handbills identify himself just as does one who speaks from the platform. The ordinance makes for the responsibility in writing that is present in public utterance. When and if the application of such an ordinance in a given case encroaches on First Amendment freedoms, then will be soon enough to strike that application down. But no such restraint has been shown here. After all, the public has some rights against which the enforcement of freedom of speech would be “harsh and arbitrary in itself.” Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U. S. 77, 88 (1949). We have upheld complete proscription of uninvited door-to-door canvassing as an invasion of privacy. Breard v. Alexandria, 341 U. S. 622 (1951). Is this less restrictive than complete freedom of distribution-regardless of contentof a signed handbill? And commercial handbills may be declared verboten, Valentine v. Chrestensen, 316 U. S. 52 (1942), regardless of content or identification. Is Talley's anonymous handbill, designed to destroy the business of a commercial establishment, passed out at its very front door, and attacking its then lawful commercial practices, more comportable with First Amendment freedoms? I think not. Before we may expect international responsibility among nations, might not it be well to require individual responsibility at home? Los Angeles' ordinance does no more.
Contrary to petitioner's contention, the ordinance as applied does not arbitrarily deprive him of equal pro
CLARK, J., dissenting.
tection of the law. He complains that handbills are singled out, while other printed media—books, magazines, and newspapers—remain unrestrained. However, “[t]he problem of legislative classification is a perennial one, admitting of no doctrinaire definition. Evils in the same field may be of different dimensions and proportions, requiring different remedies. ... Or the reform may take one step at a time, addressing itself to the phase of the problem which seems most acute to the legislative mind. . The prohibition of the Equal Protection Clause goes no further than the invidious discrimination. [I] cannot say that that point has been reached here.” Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U. S. 483, 489 (1955).
FLORIDA LIME AND AVOCADO GROWERS, INC., ET AL. V. JACOBSEN, DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL.
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA.
No. 49. Argued December 9-10, 1959.—Decided March 7, 1960.
Appellants, who are engaged in the business of growing, packing and
marketing Florida avocados in interstate commerce, sued in a Federal District Court to enjoin appellees, state officers of California, from enforcing $ 792 of the California Agricultural Code, which prohibits the importation or sale in California of avocados containing less than 8% of oil by weight. Appellants claimed that $ 792 violated the Commerce and Equal Protection Clauses of the Federal Constitution as well as the Federal Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and Florida Avocado Order No. 69 issued thereunder. A three-judge District Court convened to hear the case dismissed the action, and a direct appeal was taken to this Court. Held:
1. Since the complaint sought an injunction against enforcement of the state statute on grounds of federal unconstitutionality, the action was required to be heard by a three-judge District Court under 28 U. S. C. $ 2281, and this Court has jurisdiction of this direct appeal under 28 U. S. C. $ 1253—notwithstanding the fact that the complaint also alleged that the state statute conflicted with the federal Act. Pp. 75–85.
2. In view of the allegation of the complaint that appellants have made more than a score of shipments of Florida avocados to California and that appellees have consistently condemned them for failure to contain 8% or more of oil by weight, thus forcing appellants to reship them and sell them in other States to prevent their destruction and complete loss, there is an existing dispute between the parties as to present legal rights amounting to a justiciable controversy; and the fact that appellants did not contest the validity of $ 792 or seek abatement of appellees' condemnation of the avocados in California state courts does not bar their right