RESPONDENT:City of New York
LOCATION:New York City Council
DOCKET NO.: 86-1836
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: New York Court of Appeals
CITATION: 487 US 1 (1988)
ARGUED: Feb 23, 1988
DECIDED: Jun 20, 1988
Alan Mansfield – on behalf of the appellant
Peter L. Zimroth – on behalf of the appellees
Facts of the case
The City of New York amended its Human Rights Law prohibiting discrimination in public places to include certain social clubs that were not “distinctly private.” Particularly, the amendment applied anti-discrimination laws to social clubs and institutions that hosted dining regularly, retained more than four hundred members, and received funding from non-members in order to promote business interests. The amendment did not apply to religious, charitable, and education organizations because the city deemed that they were not centers of business activity. The New York State Club Association, a group of 125 clubs, contended in a state trial court that the new law violated its associational rights provided by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The trial court ruled in favor of the city. A state appellate court and the New York Court of Appeals both affirmed, finding that the city’s compelling interest in eliminating discrimination justified the restrictions on associational rights.
Did the City of New York violate First Amendment rights to free association when applying anti-discrimination laws to social clubs that were not “distinctly private”?
Media for New York State Club Association Inc. v. City of New York
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 20, 1988 in New York State Club Association Inc. v. City of New York
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinion of the Court in No. 86-1836, New York State Club Association versus the City of New York will be announced by Justice White.
Byron R. White:
We have filed an opinion in this case affirming the judgment of the Court of Appeals of New York. Our judgment is unanimous.
Justice O’Connor has filed a concurring opinion and Justice Kennedy has joined that opinion.
Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.