The Dangerous Intersection at 'Prior Restraint' and 'Time, Place, Manner': A Comment on Thomas v. Chicago Park District
3 Barry L. Rev. 1 (2002)
14 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015
Date Written: 2002
In its most recent look at two pivotal free speech concepts, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a challenge to the constitutionality of a city ordinance that requires a license for use of a city park. The two implicated free speech concepts, highly familiar to students of free speech jurisprudence, are those of "prior restraints" and "time, place, manner" restrictions. The following comment examines the Thomas v. Chicago Park decision, reflecting on whether the decision adds any clarity to the relationship between these terms.
After the introduction, Part II briefly discusses the factual and procedural background for the Court's decision. Parts III and IV, respectively, discuss, in a way relevant to the facts in Thomas, some of the Court's development of prior restraint and time, place, manner restrictions doctrine. Part V adds to this development mention of the licensing discretion problem at issue in Freedman v. Maryland, a case heavily relied on by Petitioners in their argument to the Court. Part VI discusses the Thomas opinion itself. Here, the article concludes that, while the outcome in the case may be consistent with the Court's trend away from an earlier and purer form of prior restraint doctrine, the decision leaves extant a surprising lack of clarity regarding the relationship of these pivotal free speech concepts.
Keywords: free speech, constitutionality, city ordinance, license, Supreme Court, Thomas, Freedman v. Maryland, prior restraints, time, place and manner restrictions doctrine, procedural development, certiorari, Ad Hoc Coalition for Drug Law Reform, Chicago Park District
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