DOCKET NO.: 80-1681
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
CITATION: 455 US 489 (1982)
ARGUED: Dec 09, 1981
DECIDED: Mar 02, 1982
Michael L. Pritzker – on behalf of the Appellee
Richard N. Williams – on behalf of the Appellants
Media for Village of Hoffman Estates v. The Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 02, 1982 in Village of Hoffman Estates v. The Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.
Warren E. Burger:
The judgments and opinion of the Court in Village of Hoffman Estates against Flipside, Hoffman Estates Incorporated will be announced by Justice Marshall.
This case is here on direct appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Village of Hoffman Estates enacted an ordinance regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia.
The ordinance requires a business to obtain a license if the business sells any items that are “designed or marketed for use with illegal cannabis or drugs.”
The Flipside, a record store that also sells novelty devices challenged the ordinance prior its enforcement arguing that the law is facially overbroad and vague.
The Court of Appeals held that the law is unconstitutionally vague on its face.
In an opinion filed today with the clerk, we conclude that the law is neither facially overbroad nor vague.
The law does not significantly infringe the First Amendment Rights of Flipside or of other parties.
The law is also not facially vague since it clearly applies to some of Flipside’s conduct.
Flipside unquestionably sold roach clips and pipes that are specially designed for marijuana use.
Flipside did sell some items that are designed for use with illegal drugs.
Furthermore, Flipside intentionally displayed these items and either drug-related items together in its store.
Thus, it clearly has “marketed” some issues for use with illegal drugs.
Although the law is not vague on its face, we do not suggest that the risk of discriminatory enforcement is insignificant, but the Village may take steps to minimize that risk.
But in this pre-enforcement challenge, the rise — risk is too speculative toward in validating the law on its face.
Where the drug paraphernalia laws are wise or effective, it is not of course the problems of this Court.
We only hold that such legislation is constitutional if it does not reach constitute and protected conduct if it is reasonably clear as applied to the complainant.
The decision of the Court of Appeals is therefore reversed. Justice White has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.
Justice Stevens took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Justice Marshall.