LOCATION: International Society for Krishna Consciousness
DOCKET NO.: 91-155
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
CITATION: 505 US 672 (1992)
ARGUED: Mar 25, 1992
DECIDED: Jun 26, 1992
Arthur P. Berg - Argued the cause for the respondent
Barry A. Fisher - Argued the cause for the petitioners
Facts of the case
New York City's airport authority banned repetitive solicitation of money within airline terminals. Solicitation was permitted outside the terminals. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness solicits funds in public places. It challenged the regulation. A federal district court granted an injunction against the airport authority. The authority appealed.
Does the regulation violate the First Amendment free speech clause?
Media for International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. LeeAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 25, 1992 in International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Lee
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 26, 1992 in International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Lee
Sandra Day O'Connor:
The next two cases are related.
They are a petition and a cross-petition.
One of them, I am announcing on behalf of the Chief Justice who was unable to here this morning for the announcement.
These cases come to us on certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The respondent in International Society for Krishna Consciousness against Lee, and Lee against the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The respondent operates three major airports in the New York City area.
It adapted a regulation banning the repetitive solicitation of money within its terminals while allowing such solicitation on the sidewalks outside the terminal.
The petitioner is a not-for-profit religious corporation whose members solicit funds in public places to support their movement.
It brought suit claiming that the regulation banning solicitation activities deprive them of their rights under the First Amendment.
In an opinion authored by the Chief Justice, we hold that the airport terminals are not public fora.
Historically, airports have not been made available as locations for speech activity, nor has the respondent in this case voluntarily opened the terminals to solicitation.
To survive review, therefore, the solicitation ban need only be shown to be reasonable.
The solicitation ban satisfies this test as it is a reasonable means of attacking the risks of duress, fraud, and congestion that attend personal solicitation for funds in airports.
In a separate per curium opinion, dealing with the related challenge to respondent's ban on leafleting activity within the terminals, we strike down the port authority's regulation.
I have filed a separate concurring opinion; Justice Kennedy has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which he is joined in part by Justices Blackmun, Stevens, and Souter; Justice Souter has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in which Justices Blackmun and Stevens joined; Chief Justice Rehnquist has delivered a second opinion dissenting in part in which Justices White, Scalia, and Thomas joined.
Now, if anyone can figure that out, they are doing well.