Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Frisby v. Schultz
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The Appellees, being individuals who are strongly opposed to abortion, picketed in front of the home of a doctor who performs abortions. The Appellees picketed in front of his house between April 20, 1985 and May 20, 1985 on several occasions. This violated the Appellees’ ordinance that completely bans picketing “before or about” any residence. The picketing was generally orderly and peaceful and the town never had occasion to invoke any of its ordinances prohibiting obstruction of the streets, loud and unnecessary noises, or disorderly conduct. Nonetheless the picketing generated numerous complaints. On May 7, 1985, the town outlawed all picketing in residential neighborhoods except for labor picketing, which was repealed several days later for fear of being declared unconstitutional because of the labor exception. The town then passed the flat ban that was described earlier. The Appellees ceased picketing in Brookfield and filed this lawsuit in Federal District Court seeking declaratory as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief on the grounds the ordinance violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution). The district court granted the injunction, which was upheld by the Court of Appeals. The Appellant town appealed to the Supreme Court.
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