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Supreme Court of the United States
March 24, 1964, Argued ; June 1, 1964, Decided
[*289] [***328] [**1304] MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case, involving the right of the petitioner, the National Association for the [****4] Advancement of Colored People, to carry on activities in Alabama, reaches this Court for the fourth time. In 1956 the Attorney General of Alabama brought a suit in equity to oust the Association, a New York "membership" corporation, from the State. The basis of the proceeding was the Association's alleged failure to comply with Alabama statutes requiring foreign corporations to register with the Alabama Secretary of State and perform other acts in order to [*290] qualify to do business in the State; 1 the complaint alleged also that certain of the petitioner's activities in Alabama, detailed below, were inimical to the well-being of citizens of the State.
On [**1305] the day the complaint was filed, the Attorney General obtained an ex parte restraining order barring the Association, pendente lite, from conducting any business within the State and from taking any steps to qualify to do business under state law. Before [****5] the case was heard on the merits, the Association was adjudged in contempt for failing to comply with a court order directing it to produce various records, including membership lists. The Supreme Court of Alabama dismissed a petition for certiorari to review the final judgment of contempt on procedural grounds, 265 Ala. 349, 91 So. 2d 214, which this Court, on review, found inadequate to bar consideration of the Association's constitutional claims. NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449. Upholding those claims, we reversed the judgment of contempt without reaching the question of the validity of the underlying restraining order.
In the second round of these proceedings, the Supreme Court of Alabama, on remand "for proceedings not inconsistent" with this Court's opinion, 357 U.S., at 467, again affirmed [***329] the judgment of contempt which this Court had overturned. 268 Ala. 531, 109 So. 2d 138. This decision was grounded on belief that this Court's judgment had rested on a "mistaken premise." Id., at 532, 109 So. 2d, at 139. Observing [****6] that the premise of our prior decision had been one which the State had "plainly accepted" throughout the prior proceedings here, this Court ruled that the State could not, for the first time on remand, change its stance. 360 U.S. 240, 243. We noted that the Supreme Court of Alabama "evidently was not acquainted [*291] with the detailed basis of the proceedings here" when it reaffirmed the judgment of contempt, id., at 243-244, and again remanded without considering the validity of the restraining order. In so doing, the Court said: "We assume that the State Supreme Court . . . will not fail to proceed promptly with the disposition of the matters left open under our mandate for further proceedings . . ." rendered in the prior case. Id., at 245.
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377 U.S. 288 *; 84 S. Ct. 1302 **; 12 L. Ed. 2d 325 ***; 1964 U.S. LEXIS 1138 ****
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE v. ALABAMA EX REL. FLOWERS, ATTORNEY GENERAL
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA.
Disposition: 274 Ala. 544, 150 So. 2d 677, reversed and remanded.
assigned error, proceedings, merits, do business, foreign corporation, courts, constitutional right, restraining order, cases, grounds, contempt, ouster, state law, permanent
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