Schneider v. Irvington Case Brief

Summary of Schneider v. Irvington

Facts: Ordinances prohibiting leafleting on public streets.

Issue: Can cities totally ban the right to leaflet in public areas?

Holding: No, cities can’t totally ban the right to leaflet.

Reasoning: Public streets are to be used by the public for purposes of assembly, but this right can be balanced with the state’s interest in keeping the traffic flowing (which is why licensing requirements are constitutional).

The state’s justification in wanting to keep the streets clean from littering is not sufficiently important to abridge free speech rights. (besides, there are other ways to accomplish this goal, like ticketing people who litter)

Judgment: Ordinances are invalid.


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