First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. County of Los Angeles, California Valleychurch v. County of Los Angeles, California, UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation78 S.Ct. 1350,357 U.S. 545,2 L.Ed.2d 1484
Docket NumberNos. 382,385,UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST
Decision Date30 June 1958
PartiesThe FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES, a Corporation, Petitioner, v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, City of Los Angeles, California, H. L.Byram, County of Los Angeles Tax Collector, et al. VALLEYCHURCH, Inc., Petitioner, v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; City of Los Angeles, California; H. L.Byram, County Tax Collector

357 U.S. 545
78 S.Ct. 1350
2 L.Ed.2d 1484
The FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES, a Corporation, Petitioner,

v.

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, City of Los Angeles, California, H. L.Byram, County of Los Angeles Tax Collector, et al. VALLEY UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST CHURCH, Inc., Petitioner, v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; City of Los Angeles, California; H. L.Byram, County Tax Collector.

Nos. 382, 385.
Argued April 8, 1958.
Decided June 30, 1958.

Mr. A. L. Wirin, Los Angeles, Cal., for petitioners.

Mr. Gordon Boller, Los Angeles, Cal., for respondents.

Page 546

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

These are companion cases to Speiser v. Randall and Prince v. City and County of San Francisco, 357 U.S. 513, 78 S.Ct. 1332. The petitioners claimed the property-tax exemption provided by Art. XIII, § 1 1/2, of the California Constitution for real property and buildings used solely and exclusively for religious worship. The Los Angeles assessor denied the exemptions because each petitioner refused to subscribe, and struck from the prescribed application form, the oath that they did not advocate the overthrow of the Government of the United States and of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means nor advocate the support of a foreign government against the United States in the event of hostilities. Each petitioner sued in the Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles to recover taxes paid under protest and for declaratory relief. Both contended that the exaction of the oath pursuant to § 19 of Art. XX of the State Constitution and § 32 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code was forbidden by the Federal Constitution. The court upheld the validity of the provisions in the action brought by petitioner First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, and the Supreme Court of California affirmed. 48 Cal.2d 419, 311 P.2d 508. We granted certiorari. 355 U.S. 853, 78 S.Ct. 86, 2 L.Ed.2d 62. The Superior Court in the action brought by petitioner Valley Unitarian-Universalist Church, Inc., upheld the validity of the provisions under the Federal Constitution but held that § 32 of the Revenue and Taxation Code violated the California Constitution because it excluded or exempted householders from the requirement. The Supreme Court of California reversed, 48 Cal.2d 899, 311 P.2d 540, and we granted certiorari, 355 U.S. 854, 78 S.Ct. 86, 2 L.Ed.2d 62.

In addition to the contentions advanced by the appellants in Speiser v. Randall, the petitioners argue that the

Page 547

provisions are invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment as abridgments of religious freedom and as violations of the principle of separation of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
20 practice notes
  • Speiser v. Randall Prince v. City and County of San Francisco, California, Nos. 382
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 30, 1958
    ...tax exemption. The brief of the taxing authorities in the companion case, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. County of Los Angeles, 78 S.Ct. 1350, states, 'Section 32 is an evidentiary provision. Its purpose and effect are to afford to the Assessor information to guide his compliance ......
  • Socialist Labor Party v. Gilligan 8212 21, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 30, 1972
    ...v. Little, 362 U.S. 474, 476, 80 S.Ct. 840, 842, 4 L.Ed.2d 892 (1960) (dissenting opinion); First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545, 547, 78 S.Ct. 1350, 1351, 2 L.Ed.2d 1484 (1958) (concurring opinion); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513, 532, 78 S.Ct. 1332, 1344, 2 L.Ed.2d 1460 (......
  • Bongo Prods., LLC v. Lawrence, Case No. 3:21-cv-00490
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • July 9, 2021
    ...109, 148, 79 S.Ct. 1081, 3 L.Ed.2d 1115 (1959) (Black, J., dissenting); First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. Cnty. of Los Angeles , 357 U.S. 545, 548, 78 S.Ct. 1350, 2 L.Ed.2d 1484 (1958) (Douglas, J., concurring); Lerner v. Casey , 357 U.S. 399, 413, 78 S.Ct. 1324, 2 L.Ed.2d 1433 (1958......
  • Supreme Court Behavior and Civil Rights
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 13-2, June 1960
    • June 1, 1960
    ...U.S. 399 (1958); Abramowitz v. Brucker, 355 U.S. 578 (1958); Wilson v. Leow’s, 355 U.S. 597 (1958); First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545 (1958); Valley Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357U.S. 545 (1958); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958); Prince v. San Francisco, 357 U......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Speiser v. Randall Prince v. City and County of San Francisco, California, Nos. 382
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 30, 1958
    ...tax exemption. The brief of the taxing authorities in the companion case, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. County of Los Angeles, 78 S.Ct. 1350, states, 'Section 32 is an evidentiary provision. Its purpose and effect are to afford to the Assessor information to guide his compliance ......
  • Socialist Labor Party v. Gilligan 8212 21, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 30, 1972
    ...v. Little, 362 U.S. 474, 476, 80 S.Ct. 840, 842, 4 L.Ed.2d 892 (1960) (dissenting opinion); First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545, 547, 78 S.Ct. 1350, 1351, 2 L.Ed.2d 1484 (1958) (concurring opinion); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513, 532, 78 S.Ct. 1332, 1344, 2 L.Ed.2d 1460 (......
  • Bongo Prods., LLC v. Lawrence, Case No. 3:21-cv-00490
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • July 9, 2021
    ...109, 148, 79 S.Ct. 1081, 3 L.Ed.2d 1115 (1959) (Black, J., dissenting); First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. Cnty. of Los Angeles , 357 U.S. 545, 548, 78 S.Ct. 1350, 2 L.Ed.2d 1484 (1958) (Douglas, J., concurring); Lerner v. Casey , 357 U.S. 399, 413, 78 S.Ct. 1324, 2 L.Ed.2d 1433 (1958......
  • Bongo Prods., LLC v. Lawrence, Case No. 3:21-cv-00490
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • July 9, 2021
    ...v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 148 (1959) (Black, J., dissenting); First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. Cnty. of Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545, 548 (1958) (Douglas, J., concurring); Lerner v. Casey, 357 U.S. 399, 413 (1958) (Douglas, J., dissenting); Schware v. Bd. of Bar Exam. of State of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Supreme Court Behavior and Civil Rights
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 13-2, June 1960
    • June 1, 1960
    ...U.S. 399 (1958); Abramowitz v. Brucker, 355 U.S. 578 (1958); Wilson v. Leow’s, 355 U.S. 597 (1958); First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545 (1958); Valley Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357U.S. 545 (1958); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958); Prince v. San Francisco, 357 U......
  • State and Local Regulation of Religious Solicitation of Funds: A Constitutional Perspective
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Nbr. 446-1, September 1979
    • September 1, 1979
    ...tax church groups by state officials, and exemptions, the Supreme Courtnoted that: 47. See also First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545, 548 [E]limination of the exemption would Joseph Burstyn, Inc., v. Wilson, 343 U.S. tend to expand the involvement of 495 (1952). government by......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT