Cox v. New Hampshire Case Brief

Facts of the Case

“On the evening of July 8, 1939, sixty-eight defendants – five of whom were “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and sixty-three others were of the same persuasion – met at a hall in the City of Manchester for the purpose of engaging in an information march. The defendants proceeded to march along the sidewalk, carrying different signage containing their religious sentiments. The defendants held this activity without obtaining government permits. Consequently, the defendants were charged with and convicted in the municipal court of Manchester, New Hampshire, for violation of a state statute prohibiting a parade or procession upon a public street without a special license. The defendants contended that the participation of each defendant in the march was for the purpose of disseminating information in the public interest and was one of their ways of worship. On appeal, the state supreme court affirmed the defendants’ conviction