For opinion below, see post, p. 139. CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF FLORIDA, SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
Warren, Black, Douglas, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Stewart, White, Goldberg
Considering that there are questions of Florida law answers to which are necessary to enable this Court to determine its jurisdiction over this cause, and with respect to which there appear to be no precise controlling precedents in the decisions of the Supreme Court of Florida, this Court desires to certify to the Supreme Court of Florida, pursuant to Rule 4.61 of the Florida Appellate Rules, the questions stated hereafter.
The petitioners have been tried and convicted in the Municipal Court of Tallahassee for unlawful assembly, under a municipal ordinance which incorporates by reference
the state unlawful assembly statute.*fn1 The convictions were affirmed in the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial District, Leon County, Florida.*fn2 The unreported
opinion of that court, a copy of which, taken from the record, is attached to this certificate as an Appendix, contains a statement of the facts on which the convictions rested. The petitioners sought certiorari in this Court, which the City of Tallahassee opposed on the ground, inter alia, that the judgment of the Circuit Court was not "rendered by the highest court of a State in which a decision could be had," as required by 28 U. S. C. § 1257. This Court granted certiorari, 372 U.S. 963, and subsequently directed counsel to file briefs on the jurisdictional issue, which counsel have done.
The questions which this Court desires to certify are:
1. On a timely petition for writ of certiorari or other process, does the Florida District Court of Appeal or any other court of Florida have jurisdiction to review a judgment of the Circuit Court affirming a conviction in the Municipal Court of a violation of a municipal ordinance which incorporates a state statute by reference, where the questions presented for review concern the federal constitutionality of the ordinance on its face and as applied?
2. If the District Court of Appeal or any other court of Florida does have such jurisdiction and had granted review in this case by way of a writ of certiorari or other process, would it have been empowered to consider fully each of the following contentions, all indisputably properly preserved:
(a) "Petitioners were peaceable and orderly at all times; hence, there was no evidence whatsoever to support the convictions below for unlawful assembly, and therefore Petitioners have been denied due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment";
(b) "The convictions constituted a violation of Petitioners' rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment";
(c) "The arrests and convictions herein constituted an undue burden on interstate commerce in violation of the interstate commerce clause of the Federal Constitution";
(d) "The arrests and convictions herein constituted a denial of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment"?
If not, in what respects would the scope of review have been limited?
The Clerk of this Court is directed to transmit this certificate, signed by THE CHIEF JUSTICE and under the official seal of the Court, to the Supreme Court of Florida, and simultaneously to transmit copies thereof to the attorneys for the respective parties.
Opinion OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, LEON ...