Saturday, December 7, 2013

Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette case brief

Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette case brief summary
515 U.S. 753 (1995)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appeal from judgment on writ of certiorari from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which granted respondents' injunction that required petitioner board to issue a display permit, in respondents' action alleging violation of the First Amendment, U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, right to free speech.

CASE FACTS
Respondents, a group of isolationists, sought to erect a cross on a state-owned plaza managed by petitioners, an advisory board. Petitioners denied respondents' application, but other holiday displays were permitted. Respondents sued, claiming a free-speech violation under U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, and sought an injunction requiring petitioners to issue the requested permit, which the district court granted. Petitioners contended the issuance of a permit would violate the Establishment Clause, U.S. Constitutional Amendment I.

DISCUSSION
  • On appeal, the Court affirmed because it reasoned petitioners could not, on the claim of misperception of official endorsement, ban all private religious speech from the public square, or discriminate against it by requiring religious speech alone to disclaim public sponsorship. 
  • The Court further determined religious expression could not violate the Establishment Clause where it was purely private and occurred in a traditional or designated public forum, publicly announced and open to all on equal terms.

CONCLUSION
Judgment granting respondents injunctive relief affirmed, because religious expression did not violate the Establishment Clause where it was purely private and occurred in a traditional or designated public forum, publicly announced and open to all on equal terms.

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