167 U.S. 43 (1897), 229, Davis v. Massachusetts

Docket Nº:No. 229
Citation:167 U.S. 43, 17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71
Party Name:Davis v. Massachusetts
Case Date:May 10, 1897
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 43

167 U.S. 43 (1897)

17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71

Davis

v.

Massachusetts

No. 229

United States Supreme Court

May 10, 1897

Argued and submitted March 26, 1897

ERROR TO THE SUPERIOR COURT OF

SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS

Syllabus

The ordinance of the City of Boston which provides that "no person shall, in or upon any of the public grounds, make any public address," etc., "except in accordance with a permit from the mayor" is not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States and the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment thereof.

Page 44

[17 S.Ct. 731] It was charged against the plaintiff in error, in the Municipal Court of the City of Boston, that

in and upon certain public grounds of said city, within said district, called the "Common," he did make a public address, the same not being then and there in accordance with a permit from the mayor of said city, against the peace of said commonwealth, the form of the statute of said commonwealth, and the revised ordinance of said city in such cases made and provided.

The ordinance claimed to be violated was section 66 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Boston (1893), and reads as follows:

SEC. 66. No person shall, in or upon any of the public grounds, make any public address, [17 S.Ct. 732] discharge any cannon or firearm, expose for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, erect or maintain any booth, stand, tent or apparatus for the purposes of public amusement or show, except in accordance with a permit from the mayor.

The proceedings were removed to the Superior Court of the County of Suffolk, where the accused renewed a motion which he had interposed in the municipal court to quash the complaint. The grounds assigned in support of this motion were seven in number, and, among other objections, it was substantially asserted that the ordinance violated rights alleged to be secured to the accused by the constitution of the state and by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The motion to quash being overruled, and an exception noted, the accused was tried before the court and a jury.

At the trial, the government put in evidence the ordinance heretofore referred to and called the attention of the court to suctions 35 and 39 of chapter 448 of the acts passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts in the year 1854, which sections are as follows:

SEC. 35. All other powers heretofore by law vested in the Town of Boston or in the inhabitants thereof as a municipal corporation, or in the City Council of the City of Boston, shall be and hereby are continued to be vested in the mayor, aldermen and common council of the said city, to be exercised by

Page 45

concurrent vote, each board, as hereby constituted, having a negative upon the proceedings of the other, and the mayor having a veto power as hereinafter provided.

More especially, they shall have power to make all such needful and salutary bylaws and ordinances not inconsistent with the laws of this commonwealth as towns, by the laws of this commonwealth, have power to make and establish, and to annex penalties not exceeding fifty dollars for the breach thereof, which bylaws and ordinances shall take effect and be in force from and after the time therein respectively limited without the sanction or confirmation of any court or other authority whatsoever.

SEC. 39. The city council shall have the care and superintendence of the public buildings, and the care, custody and management of all the property of the city, with power to lease or sell the same except the common and Faneuil Hall. And the said city council shall have power to purchase property, real or personal, in the name and for the use of the city whenever its interest or convenience may in their judgment require it.

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163 practice notes
  • 295 F. 197 (W.D.Wash. 1924), 189, Buck v. Kuykendall
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Western District of Washington
    • January 7, 1924
    ...Interstate Motor Transit Co. v. Kuykendall, supra; Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Schoenfeldt, 123 Wash. 579, 213 P. 26; Davis v. Mass., 167 U.S. 43, 17 Sup.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71. Public highways are subject to the police powers of the state. Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 35 Sup.Ct. 140, 59 ......
  • 240 N.W. 847 (Wis. 1932), State ex rel. Bluemound Amusement Park, Inc. v. Mayor of City of Milwaukee
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 9, 1932
    ...Chicago, 177 U.S. 183, 20 S.Ct. 633, 44 L.Ed. 725; Wilson v. Eureka City, 173 U.S. 32, 19 S.Ct. 317, 43 L.Ed. 603; Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71; New York ex rel. Lieberman v. Van De Carr, 199 U.S. 552, 26 S.Ct. 144, 50 L.Ed. 305. So, in the case at bar, in ......
  • 33 Cal.App.2d Supp. 747, 1547, People v. Kim Young
    • United States
    • California Superior Court of California
    • December 9, 1938
    ...by Mr. Justice Holmes, and it was thereafter held valid by the Supreme Court of the United States, in Davis v. Commonwealth, (1897) 167 U.S. 43 [17 S.Ct. Page 751 731, 42 L.Ed. 71]. The New York court of appeals held such a prohibitory ordinance to be constitutional in People v. Atwell, (19......
  • 168 S.E.2d 411 (N.C.App. 1969), 698SC272, Whaley v. Lenoir County
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals of North Carolina
    • July 23, 1969
    ...includes the lesser power to condition, and may justify a degree of regulation not admissible in the former. See Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71.' The section of the enabling Act to which objection is raised merely grants to the counties the power to 'set mini......
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143 cases
  • 295 F. 197 (W.D.Wash. 1924), 189, Buck v. Kuykendall
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Western District of Washington
    • January 7, 1924
    ...Interstate Motor Transit Co. v. Kuykendall, supra; Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Schoenfeldt, 123 Wash. 579, 213 P. 26; Davis v. Mass., 167 U.S. 43, 17 Sup.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71. Public highways are subject to the police powers of the state. Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 35 Sup.Ct. 140, 59 ......
  • 240 N.W. 847 (Wis. 1932), State ex rel. Bluemound Amusement Park, Inc. v. Mayor of City of Milwaukee
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 9, 1932
    ...Chicago, 177 U.S. 183, 20 S.Ct. 633, 44 L.Ed. 725; Wilson v. Eureka City, 173 U.S. 32, 19 S.Ct. 317, 43 L.Ed. 603; Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71; New York ex rel. Lieberman v. Van De Carr, 199 U.S. 552, 26 S.Ct. 144, 50 L.Ed. 305. So, in the case at bar, in ......
  • 33 Cal.App.2d Supp. 747, 1547, People v. Kim Young
    • United States
    • California Superior Court of California
    • December 9, 1938
    ...by Mr. Justice Holmes, and it was thereafter held valid by the Supreme Court of the United States, in Davis v. Commonwealth, (1897) 167 U.S. 43 [17 S.Ct. Page 751 731, 42 L.Ed. 71]. The New York court of appeals held such a prohibitory ordinance to be constitutional in People v. Atwell, (19......
  • 168 S.E.2d 411 (N.C.App. 1969), 698SC272, Whaley v. Lenoir County
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals of North Carolina
    • July 23, 1969
    ...includes the lesser power to condition, and may justify a degree of regulation not admissible in the former. See Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 17 S.Ct. 731, 42 L.Ed. 71.' The section of the enabling Act to which objection is raised merely grants to the counties the power to 'set mini......
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1 firm's commentaries
18 books & journal articles
  • Freedom of Speech and of The Press
    • United States
    • The Path of Constitutional Law Part IV: The Final Cause Of Constitutional Law Sub-Part Four: The First Amendment
    • January 1, 2007
    ...criminal trials, is discussed at § 21.2.4.4. [3] 376 U.S. 254, 276 (1964). [4] 205 U.S. 454 (1907). [5] Id. at 461-62. [6] Id. at 462. [7] 167 U.S. 43 (1897). [8] Id. at 47. [9] Bradley C. Bobertz, The Brandeis Gambit: The Making of America's "First Freedom," 1909-31, 40 Wm. &......
  • Constitutional conversations and new religious movements: a comparative case study.
    • United States
    • Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law Vol. 38 Nbr. 3, May 2005
    • May 1, 2005
    ...barring those without rightful business to enter town). (34.) The doctrine of public ownership and control, see Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 47 (1897), was not followed in Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization, 307 U.S. 496 (1939), which was noted the same year in the Witne......
  • New problems for subsidized speech.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 56 Nbr. 4, March - March 2015
    • March 1, 2015
    ...express themselves.'" (quoting United States v. Am. Library Ass'n, 539 U.S. 194, 206 (2003))), aff'd, 133 S. Ct. 2321 (2013). (84.) 167 U.S. 43, 46-47 (1897). (85.) Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173, 193 (1991). (86.) Hague v. Comm, for Indus. Org., 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939) ("Whereve......
  • Regulating drones under the First and Fourth Amendments.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 57 Nbr. 1, October - October 2015
    • October 1, 2015
    ...restrict drone cameras to certain kinds of information in order to prevent the message they make possible. (254.) Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 48 (1897). (255.) Hague v. Comm. for Indus. Org., 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939). (256.) See infra Part IV.A. 1-2; see also Robert C. Post, Betwee......
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