Village of Schaumburg v. Citizens for Better Environment

PETITIONER: Village of Schaumburg
RESPONDENT: Citizens for Better Environment
LOCATION: Schaumburg Village Hall

DOCKET NO.: 78-1335
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 444 US 620 (1980)
ARGUED: Oct 30, 1979
DECIDED: Feb 20, 1980

ADVOCATES:
Adam Yarmolinsky - on behalf of the amici curiae
Jack M. Siegel - on behalf of the Petitioner
Milton I. Shadur - on behalf of the Respondents

Facts of the case

The Village of Schaumburg Illinois adopted an ordinance that prohibited charitable organizations from soliciting contributions in public areas without a permit. Permits were only granted to organizations that could demonstrate that 75 percent of their receipts were applied towards "charitable purposes." Citizens for Better Environment, a nonprofit tax-exempt organization, was denied a permit because it did not satisfy the 75-percent requirement. CBE sued in federal district court, which ruled in their favor. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed this ruling.

Question

Was Schaumburg's ordinance "overbroad" and therefore in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments?

Media for Village of Schaumburg v. Citizens for Better Environment

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 30, 1979 in Village of Schaumburg v. Citizens for Better Environment

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 20, 1980 in Village of Schaumburg v. Citizens for Better Environment

Warren E. Burger:

Two opinions are ready for announcement by Mr. Justice White, the Village of Schaumburg against Citizens for a Better Environment and Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty against Regan.

Byron R. White:

In the Schaumburg case which has comes here from the Seventh Circuit on a writ of certiorari.

The Village of Schaumburg in Cook County forbids door to door solicitation by charitable organizations unless the organization spends at least 75% of its receipts on charitable purposes which are defined to exclude salaries, solicitation expenses, overhead and other administrative expenses.

The District Court and the Court of Appeals both decided that both held that the ordinance was unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendment because it unduly interfered with the communication of information and ideas by charitable organizations.

We agree and affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

We have filed an opinion stating at some length our reasons for -- for this conclusion.

Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion.