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Restrictions on Selling T-shirts on Public Sidewalks Does Not Violate First Amendment
Description Appeals court upheld the constitutionality of a Miami Beach regulation prohibiting the sale of any goods from tables set up on public streets and sidewalks. The non-profit group promoting spiritual ecology had other ways to promote its message than by engaging in that activity at that location.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Freedom of Speech, Public Sidewalks
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The City of Miami Beach has an ordinance restricting sales from streets and sidewalks. Several non-profit groups, which wanted to sell t-shirts bearing messages from tables set up on public sidewalks, challenged the ordinance as an unconstitutional restriction of free speech. The district court held for the city; the non-profit groups appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The activity of the non-profit groups is protected by the First Amendment, but the city has the right to have a content-neutral regulation regarding activities that occur on public sidewalks. It does not violate the time, place and manner tests required by the Supreme Court of such limits on protected speech. The ordinance serves a substantial public interest-to assist pedestrian flow along the sidewalks-and the groups have alternative ways to communicate their messages other than by selling t-shirts on these particular sidewalks.
Citation One World One Family Now v. City of Miami Beach, 175 F.3d 1282 (11th Cir., 1999)

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