Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization

PETITIONER:Frank Hague, Mayor et al.
RESPONDENT:Committee for Industrial Organization et al.

DECIDED BY: Hughes Court (1939)

ARGUED: Feb 27, 1939 / Feb 28, 1939
DECIDED: Jun 05, 1939

Facts of the case

On November 29, 1937, several individuals gathered at the headquarters of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) in Jersey City, New Jersey to initiate a recruitment drive and discuss the National Labor Relations Act. Acting on the orders of Mayor Frank Hague, police seized the group’s recruitment materials and refused to allow the meeting to take place. Hague argued that he was enforcing a 1930 city ordinance that forbade gatherings of groups that advocated obstruction of the government by unlawful means. Hague referred to CIO members as “communists.” Arguing that the ordinance violated the First Amendment protection of freedom of assembly, the group filed suit against several city officials, including Hague. A District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed and invalidated the ordinance.


Did enforcement of the 1930 Jersey City ordinance violate the CIO’s right to assembly under the First Amendment?