Sunday, July 14, 2013

Alternative channels and
what is normal

From Mary Grace, Judge Marshall, 461 U.S. 171 (103 S.Ct. 1702, 75 L.Ed.2d 736) concur in part.
When a citizen is "in a place where [he] has every right to be," Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131, 142, 86 S.Ct. 719, 724, 15 L.Ed.2d 637 (1966) (opinion of Fortas, J., joined by Warren, C.J., and Douglas, J.), he cannot be denied the opportunity to express his views simply because the government has not chosen to designate the area as a forum for public discussion. While the right to conduct expressive activities in such areas as streets, parks, and sidewalks is reinforced by their traditional use for purposes of assembly, Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496, 515, 59 S.Ct. 954, 964, 83 L.Ed. 1423 (1939) (opinion of Roberts, J., joined by Black, J.), that right ultimately rests on the principle that "one who is rightfully on a street which the state has left open to the public carries with him there as elsewhere the constitutional right to express his views in an orderly fashion." Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413, 416, 63 S.Ct. 669, 671, 87 L.Ed. 869 (1943) (emphasis added). Every citizen lawfully present in a public place has a right to engage in peaceable and orderly expression that is not incompatible with the primary activity of the place in question, whether that place is a school,1 a library,2 a private lunch counter,3 the grounds of a statehouse,4 the grounds of the United States Capitol,5 a bus terminal,6 an airport,7 or a welfare center.8 As we stated in Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 116, 92 S.Ct. 2294, 2303, 33 L.Ed.2d 222 (1972), "[t]he crucial question is whether the manner of expression is basically incompatible with the normal activity of a particular place at a particular time." "[O]ne is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place." Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 147, 163, 60 S.Ct. 146, 151, 84 L.Ed. 155 (1939).

One question this raises is "is it normal to protest outside the White House?"
White House Vigil implies that this is not normal.

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