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Cole v. Arkansas (338 U.S. 345)

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For works with similar titles, see Cole v. Arkansas.

United States Supreme Court

338 U.S. 345

Cole et al.  v.  Arkansas

Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Arkansas

No. 62.  Argued: December 5, 1949. --- Decided: November 9, 1949.

Court Documents

Petitioners were convicted of violating § 2 of Act 193 of the Arkansas Acts of 1943, which makes it unlawful "for any person acting in concert with one or more other persons, to assemble at or near any place where a 'labor dispute' exists and by force or violence prevent or attempt to prevent any person from engaging in any lawful vocation, or for any person acting either by himself, or as a member of any group or organization or acting in concert with one or more other persons, to promote, encourage or aid any such unlawful assemblage." The State Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, indicating in its opinion that as to one charged with violation of the italicized portion, the statute requires that the accused shall have aided the assemblage with the intention that force and violence would be used to prevent a person from working. Held:

1. Both the trial court and the State Supreme Court construed the statute as not authorizing a conviction for mere presence in an assemblage at which unplanned and unconcerted violence was precipitated by another, and there was no disparity between the instructions of the trial court and the opinion of the State Supreme Court in this respect. Pp. 347–352.
2. As applied to petitioners, the statute did not abridge the freedom of speech or of assembly guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. Pp. 352–354.
3. The Act is not unconstitutionally vague, and its application in this case did not violate due process of law. P. 354.

214 Ark. 387, 216 S.W.2d 402, affirmed.

On the remand ordered by this Court in Cole v. Arkansas, 333 U.S. 196, the State Supreme Court again affirmed petitioners' conviction for violation of a state statute. 214 Ark. 387, 216 S.W.2d 402. This Court granted certiorari. 337 U.S. 929. Affirmed, p. 354.

Thomas E. Harris argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the brief was Arthur J. Goldberg.

[p346] Jeff Duty, Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ike Murry, Attorney General, and Wyatt Cleveland Holland, Assistant Attorney General.

Mr. Justice Jackson delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).