Thursday, January 26, 2012
Overbroad: closed to all signs of protest
The Park Service creates time place and manner restrictions to this traditional public forum, marked in red.
Under the First Amendment, the government may not close traditional public forums,
The Supreme Court has developed a four-part analysis to evaluate the constitutionality of time place and manner restrictions. Restrictions must be
a. content-neutral and
b. be narrowly drawn and
c. serve a significant government interest and
d. leave open alternative channels of communication.
A restriction must serve an important government interest, and burden speech no more than is necessary to serve that interest. Restrictions that are carefully aimed at controlling the harmful consequences of speech and assembly, such as litter, unrest, and disorder, will normally satisfy these guidelines.
Is the compelling state interest served by making people mill through the center zone?
Can a passer-by take better pictures if the signs are in motion?
The regulation is not "rationally" related to the state's compelling interest - it does not achieve the objective.
Where is this interest located, in the spectrum of compelling state interests that the Parks Department has?
Isn't it over broad to criminalize the presence of one protestor with one sign in the center portion?
Would one sign would shatter the bucolic illusion so carefully tended.