Bates v. City of Little Rock

Bates v. City of Little Rock

Bates v. City of Little Rock
Argued November 18, 1959
Decided February 23, 1960
Full case name Bates et al. v. City of Little Rock et al.
Citations 361 U.S. 516 (more)
Prior history Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Arkansas
Subsequent history 229 Ark. 819, 319 S. W. 2d 37, reversed.
State governments cannot compel the disclosure of an organization's membership lists when it inhibits freedom of association.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stewart, joined by unanimous court
Concurrence Black and Douglas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I and XIV

Bates v. City of Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516 (1960), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbade state government to compel the disclosure of an organization’s membership lists via a tax-exemption regulatory scheme.

This is a companion case to NAACP v Alabama ex rel Patterson (1958), which also held that NAACP membership records are protected by First Amendment freedom of association, and Talley v California, which held that Talley, a civil rights activist, could not be fined for an anonymous flyer. These cases help establish the right to privacy under the First Amendment, expanded on in Rowe v Wade and Socialist Workers 74 Campaign Committee.

See also

External links

  • ^ 361 U.S. 516 Full text of the opinion courtesy of
  • Bates v. City of Little RockFirst Amendment Library entry for