Time, place and manner

You might think the U.S. Supreme Court never addressed the idea that camping out is protected speech. But if you thought that, you would be wrong.

In Clark v. Community for Creative Nonviolence (1984) the court directly addressed the question. Here’s what they said:

In 1982, the National Park Service issued a permit to respondent Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) to conduct a demonstration in Lafayette Park and the Mall, which are National Parks in the heart of Washington, D.C. The purpose of the demonstration was to call attention to the plight of the homeless, and the permit authorized the erection of two symbolic tent cities. However, the Park Service, relying on its regulations — particularly one that permits “camping” (defined as including sleeping activities) only in designated campgrounds, no campgrounds having ever been designated in Lafayette Park or the Mall — denied CCNV’s request that demonstrators be permitted to sleep in the symbolic tents. CCNV and the individual respondents then filed an action in Federal District Court, alleging, inter alia, that application of the regulations to prevent sleeping in the tents violated the First Amendment. The District Court granted summary judgment for the Park Service, but the Court of Appeals reversed.

Held: The challenged application of the Park Service regulations does not violate the First Amendment.

a) Assuming that overnight sleeping in connection with the demonstration is expressive conduct protected to some extent by the First Amendment, the regulation forbidding sleeping meets the requirements for a reasonable time, place, or manner restriction of expression, whether oral, written, or symbolized by conduct. The regulation is neutral with regard to the message presented, and leaves open ample alternative methods of communicating the intended message concerning the plight of the homeless. Moreover, the regulation narrowly focuses on the Government’s substantial interest in maintaining the parks in the heart of the Capital in an attractive and intact condition, readily available to the millions of people who wish to see and enjoy them by their presence. To permit camping would be totally inimical to these purposes. The validity of the regulation need not be judged solely by reference to the demonstration at hand, and none of its provisions are unrelated to the ends that it was designed to serve.

(b) Similarly, the challenged regulation is also sustainable as meeting the standards for a valid regulation of expressive conduct. Aside from its impact on speech, a rule against camping or overnight sleeping in public parks is not beyond the constitutional power of the Government to enforce. And as noted above, there is a substantial Government interest, unrelated to suppression of expression, in conserving park property that is served by the proscription of sleeping.

It appears that the Oregon Police are giving some protesters a workshop in constitutional law:

Oregon Police Dismantle ‘Occupy Portland’ Campsite

Police in Oregon dismantled two “Occupy Portland” protest campsites Sunday, just hours after protesters declared victory following a standoff with officers.

Protesters did little to resist as police took down tents in Chapman and Lownsdale Squares, according to The Oregonian.

As they said in the Sixties, “Declare victory and go home.”

BTW – You shouldn’t whine about your rights if you’re going to sneer at the rule of law. The latter gave birth to the former.

This entry was posted in Occupy Wall Street, OWS, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Time, place and manner

  1. DandyTiger says:

    Details, details, details. If you’re going to dwell on details, next they’ll you want is some sort of point to the protests.

  2. crawdad says:

    Seems like the entire OWS has been so preoccupied with squatting they have forgotten about protesting.

  3. HELENK says:

    oh oh the boston owies are marching to occupy Harvard Yaaard


  4. HELENK says:

    If you can be arrested for being a public nuisance, why can’t the owies be arrested under that law?

  5. 1539days says:

    I saw this article about a musician who apparently performed an occupy song while wearing a hard to read T-shirt saying “Occupy with Aloha” at a dinner connected to a meeting for world leaders. The funny part is that owies are all excited, yet no one in the audience apparently noticed, even after he sang it for 45 minutes straight.


  6. DeniseVB says:

    I’m surprised the occupy movement got as big as it did without permits.

    Locally, they did apply for permits and were turned down because the city wouldn’t let them sleep in places the homeless are not allowed to sleep 🙂

    • myiq2xu says:

      Ever notice that OWS does best where Democrats run things?

      • DandyTiger says:

        Why it’s as if it’s an Obama/DNC astroturf faux moment. But it can’t be, you know, because of the political/policy changes they’re pushing against Obama and the Dems, aka, wall street owned puppets, in power. Oh wait.

        • 1539days says:

          The Obama supporters in the crowd were hired by Fox News.

        • DandyTiger says:

          It was the Obama supporters first. Now those are OK and real. Then the ones hired by Fox are the crazy hippie types who want a bigger revolution. Then it was the Nazi types. Then it was the rapists. Then… It’s hard to keep track of who’s real and who’s hired by Fox. But even if the goalpost of who’s real and who isn’t keeps moving, you’ll never convince some that the undesirables of the day aren’t hired by Fox.

          Kool-aid is a hellofa drug.

        • 1539days says:

          Hey, if so many people are hired by Fox, that means the movement is even smaller than we think.

  7. HELENK says:

    The Red Cross and the the union representing its blood collection workers have reached a tentative agreement, ending the workers’ strike.
    17 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    I hope no one died because of this strike

  8. HELENK says:

    after backtrack votes present on pipeline, Canada will push for more energy sales to Asia


  9. HELENK says:

    my caption for this photo


  10. HELENK says:

    iowahawkblog David Burge
    Remember when mass assemblies of of angry white people in hoods and face masks was a bad thing?
    9 minutes ago

    • DandyTiger says:

      They are 99% white. And many seem to be hooded, and masked, and violent. Interesting group to hang with.

  11. yttik says:

    The cops in Oregon were pretty smart about avoiding a confrontation. People were making homemade weapons and bragging about the coming war with the police. The cops didn’t show, let the protesters think they were safe, and then came in later.

  12. DeniseVB says:

    If we’re going to have a revolution, might need to win over some of the military 😀


  13. kc says:

    Very nice, myiq..

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