Hill v. Colorado Case Brief

Summary of Hill v. Colorado
530 U.S. 703 (2000)

Facts: A Colorado statute made it illegal for a person to knowingly approach within 8 feet of another person without that person’s consent for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with such other person within 100 feet of the entrance to any health care facility.

Issue: Is this statute unconstitutional?

Holding: No

Rationale: This statute is neutral because it is not regulation of speech but regulation of places where some speech can occur. Secondly, the statute’s restrictions apply equally to all demonstrators, regardless of viewpoint, and the statutory language makes no reference to the content of the speech. Thirdly, the State’s interests in protecting access and privacy, and providing the police with clear guidelines are unrelated to the content of the demonstrator’s speech. Furthermore, the statute is not overbroad just because the coverage of the statute is broader than the specific concern that led to its enactment. The statute is not vague. A statute is vague if it fails to provide people of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to understand what conduct it prohibits and it authorizes or even encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. No such features are found in the Colorado’s statute.

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