Watchtower Society v. Stratton: Court Hears Arguments on Door-to-Door Proselytizing

Watchtower Society v. Stratton: Court Hears Arguments on Door-to-Door Proselytizing

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Argued: Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton - The 6th Circuit Court will rule against the Jehovah's Witnesses in their argument that they have a right to do door-to-door for solicitations, canvassing, etc. without a permit, but the Supreme Court will reverse that decision and find in favor of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

In their final decision, the Court will say:

"The ordinance promotes the Village's interest in protecting the privacy of its residents by creating additional deterrents for canvassers, including Jehovah's Witnesses, who are considering ignoring a resident's wishes and canvassing the resident's home. A Jehovah's Witness is more likely to respect the resident's wishes not to be canvassed when a criminal penalty--albeit a light penalty--is connected to such conduct in addition to the threat of civil action.

Thus, the penalty attached to canvassing the house of a resident with a No Solicitation Sign more effectively promotes the Village's interest. The ordinance's registration requirements also likely deter Jehovah's Witnesses from canvassing homes with No Solicitation Signs and forms because they are aware that the Village now has information--name, address, organization or cause--helpful in apprehending someone who ignores a resident's wishes."
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