Friday, December 27, 2013

Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence case brief

Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence case brief summary
468 U.S. 288 (1984)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Respondent demonstrators filed an action to prevent the application of no-camping regulations to a proposed demonstration. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the lower court's grant of summary judgment that was in favor of petitioners, the Secretary of the Interior and associated individuals, and the Secretary sought a writ of certiorari.

CASE FACTS
The demonstrators' permit, which was issued by the National Park Service, authorized the erection of two symbolic tent cities to demonstrate the plight of the homeless, but it did not permit them to sleep in the tents. The demonstrators filed an action to prevent the application of the no-camping regulations to the proposed demonstration, which, it was claimed, was not covered by the regulation. The Secretary argued that 36 C.F.R. § 50.19(e)(8) prohibited camping in the national memorial-core parks. The lower court granted petitioners' motion for summary judgment, which the district court reversed.

DISCUSSION

  • On certiorari, the Court held that the ban on camping did not violate the First Amendment. 
  • The court found that the demonstrators' proposed activities fell within the definition of camping under 36 C.F.R. § 50.27(a) (1983). 
  • The ban on camping was a reasonable time, place, and manner limitation to protect the park. 
  • The Court also found that the ban was content-neutral and did not interfere with the demonstrators' message regarding the homeless. 
  • The regulation narrowly focused the government's substantial interest in maintaining the parks in an attractive and intact condition for visitors.

CONCLUSION
The Court reversed the lower court's decision to reverse the grant of summary judgment that was in favor of the Secretary.

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