In Watchtower v. Stratton, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether there is a constitutional right to anonymity for door-to-door solicitors. The case stems from an attempt by the Village of Stratton, Ohio, to require solicitors of all types to first obtain permits before going door-to-door in the village. The issue on appeal is whether the First Amendment shields solicitors from having to disclose their names and addresses in the permit process and display their names on the permits if asked by a person to whom they are speaking.
The Centers amicus brief argues that the freedom of individuals anonymously to express potentially unpopular ideas and viewpoints is a significant and valuable component of the First Amendment. "Because anonymity provides the requisite security for individuals to speak freely, compelling speakers to disclose their identities to a potentially hostile government and public abridges the freedom of speech," wrote Erik S. Jaffe, attorney for the Center.
To read the Centers brief, please click here.
For the latest update on this case, please click here.2001
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