National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Patterson

PETITIONER: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
RESPONDENT: Patterson
LOCATION: Alabama State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 91
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 357 US 449 (1958)
ARGUED: Jan 15, 1958 / Jan 16, 1958
DECIDED: Jun 30, 1958

Facts of the case

As part of its strategy to enjoin the NAACP from operating, Alabama required it to reveal to the State's Attorney General the names and addresses of all the NAACP's members and agents in the state.

Question

Did Alabama's requirement violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Media for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Patterson

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1958 in National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Patterson

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1958 in National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Patterson

Earl Warren:

Next case is Number 91, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Corporation versus State of Alabama on the relation of John Patterson, Attorney General.

Mr. Carter, you may proceed.

Robert L. Carter:

If the Court please.

This calls us here from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Alabama, dismissing and denying a petition for writ of certiorari filed by petitioner seeking to review in the Alabama Court an adjudication of contempt and a fine in the sum of $100,000 on the failure of petitioner to submit its membership lists pursuant to an order of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.

The issues arose in the following manner.

On June 1, 1956, the Attorney General filed the bill of complaint in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, alleging that petitioner was doing business in Alabama without complying with the Foreign Registration Act of Alabama.

And alleging, in addition, various of illegal acts, the -- the two that they've named was the fact that the allegation was that petitioner had given moneys to two persons to induce them to apply to the University of Alabama to test these policies excluding Negroes on the basis of race.

William O. Douglas:

Your State is in New York, the State of the corporation?

Robert L. Carter:

Yes, sir.

Felix Frankfurter:

When you say incorporation, would you mind being a little more specific?

Robert L. Carter:

We're incorporated in New York.

Felix Frankfurter:

Under -- under what?

Robert L. Carter:

Under the New York membership (Inaudible) --

Felix Frankfurter:

Well, that -- that's what I meant.

It's a particular kind of associated body, isn't it?

Robert L. Carter:

Yes, sir.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

What -- under what law did you say the case is?

Robert L. Carter:

I didn't hear you.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Under what --

Robert L. Carter:

New York Membership.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Membership?

Robert L. Carter:

Yes.

(Inaudible)

Robert L. Carter:

Membership Corporations Act.

Charles E. Whittaker:

Well, that -- excuse me, makes anybody corporate however, does it not?

Robert L. Carter:

Yes, sir.

Charles E. Whittaker:

To get his New York citizenship?

Robert L. Carter:

Yes, sir.

William O. Douglas:

What have you done in Alabama (Voice Overlap) -- what law -- rather, what did they charged you with failing to do it for them.

Robert L. Carter:

They charged that we have failed to register as a foreign corporation that we were doing business in Alabama without first complying with this Act which requires foreign corporations to submit their articles in a corporation to the Secretary of State and designate a place of business, but --