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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

The Right to Witness

§ 13.01
Key point 13-01. The courts have affirmed the right of persons to disseminate religious literature and doctrine on a door-to-door basis, and in public places. This right may be limited in order to preserve public safety, health, order, and convenience. Strict safeguards, however, must attend any limitations.
1. Door-to-Door Witnessing

The Supreme Court repeatedly has affirmed the right of persons to solicit religious contributions, sell religious books and merchandise, and disseminate religious doctrine on a "door-to-door" basis.[1] See, e.g., Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943); Largent v. Texas, 318 U.S. 418 (1943); Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413 (1943); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940). Municipal ordinances that condition the exercise of such a right upon the acquisition of a permit or license or upon the payment of a "tax" or fee generally have ...

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