Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NAACP

PETITIONER: Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion
LOCATION: Mapp's Residence

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 366 US 293 (1961)
ARGUED: Apr 26, 1961
DECIDED: May 22, 1961

Facts of the case


Media for Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NAACP

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 26, 1961 (Part 1) in Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NAACP

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 26, 1961 (Part 2) in Louisiana ex rel. Gremillion v. NAACP

Robert L.carter:

-- to the Court what had occurred in the case.

And I think that I got as far as indicating that the action which had been brought under the 1924 law in the state court had been declared void, at least the injunction issue.

You will note that the -- the statute which is set out in the appendix in the appellants' brief on page -- setting out at page 43 and 44 that the District Attorneys are permitted to bring action against various organizations that violate the law.

During the period, therefore, while the injunction in 1956 had been declared void, the various organizations and affiliates of the NAACP in Louisiana were fearful to function without filing a list because of Section 404.

Therefore, some of them decided that in order to function at least at that point, one of them decided that in order to function, it would file a membership -- it would file a list of -- of members.

Now, that organization that did that was in 1956 was the New Orleans branch.

After 1958 or 1957, I think a few more organizations filed a list of their members, but it -- as Mr. Schuler indicated only 11 of 65.

The rest of the organizations and affiliates of the -- of the NAACP in Louisiana were not functioning and were -- were not operating at all.

In 1958, the second statute, which is before the Court, the affidavit statute was enacted.

When it was enacted, we then brought suit in the federal court attacking the constitutionality of the new statute requiring the affidavit and the old statute on the grounds that they violated due process, equal protection and the First Amendment rights, insofar as they are included in the -- in the Due Process of Fourteenth Amendment.

That was answered, the Attorney General answered there and the case, nothing occurred until sometime in 1959 when the Attorney General then went into the state court and it secured an injunction against the functioning and operation of the -- of the organization on the grounds that it had not complied either with the 1924 law or with the 1958 law.

At that point, we sought to go into the federal court on the grounds that this was a -- an interference with the jurisdiction of the federal court and we sought an injunction to restrain the -- the Attorney General from proceeding any further, since that came out, it was pending before the federal court and the federal court could handle and dispose of the whole case.

It was then that the federal court consolidated the two matters and had a hearing on this case.

Now, if you will note the -- the order on the hearing indicates that the -- one of the things was that any information, evidence was to be by disposition.

That’s set out on page 129 of the record.

And the federal court apparently was concerned about the fact that how many organizations had filed membership list and how many prosecutions had been taken by the Attorney General and specifically asked the Attorney General to give information as to that.

And you’ll note that on page 1 -- 130, the -- and 129, the Attorney General indicates that he is unable to say how many prosecutions have been brought under the Act, this is since 1924.

And he is also unable to indicate how many of the organizations are affected.

Earl Warren:

You say that’s on page 130?

Robert L.carter:

I think so, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:


Robert L.carter:

I think I'm right, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

I get it.

No, it's on 129.

Robert L.carter:


Yes, ' on 129.

Now, the affidavits which we think in the evidence we have indicated, we have affidavits which show that the -- and the most graphic illustration of this, I think, is the affidavit at page 119, showing clearly that there had been a loss of members -- a great loss of members, a loss in units and a loss in funds.

For --

Earl Warren:

Before you get to that, may I ask --

Robert L.carter: