Green River Ordinances

Local laws in a number of cities in the United States prohibiting all door-to-door solicitation without prior invitation of the occupant. They are named after Green River, Wyoming, where in 1931 one of the first such laws was enacted. In Martin v. Struthers, 319 U.S. 141 (1943), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a municipality could not forbid the free distribution of brochures “advertising a religious meeting.” In Breard v. Alexandria, 341 U.S. 622 (1951), the Court upheld a Green River ordinance in a case involving solicitors for subscriptions to secular magazines such as Saturday Evening Post and Newsweek . The Court said the ordinance was a valid exercise of the city’s police power to regulate commerce. Some commentators suggest the Breard case allows Green River o...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.