Defendant, a Jehovah's Witness, was convicted of conducting a public meeting in a city park without first obtaining the license required by city ordinance. Defendant maintained that he had applied for such license, but had been wrongfully denied it. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held the ordinance valid, and the conviction binding, notwithstanding the wrongfulness of the refusal to grant the license. Upon appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held: conviction affirmed. The refusal to grant the license was a wrongful contravention of purely ministerial powers conferred by the ordinance; but such wrongfulness was no defense to defendant's violation of the ordinance by proceeding with the speech. His only remedy would have been a mandamus action.
Alan J. Garfinkle,
Recent Cases: Constitutional Law — Freedom of Speech — Conviction for Speaking After Having Been Wrongfully Denied License To Do So,
33 Neb. L. Rev. 98
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