Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling May Protect Free Speech on Sidewalks

Wed, Sep 28 2011 by Staff

From On September 16, the Ninth Circuit ruled 9-2 that cities may not criminalize the act of standing on a public sidewalk to solicit “employment, business, or contributions from an occupant of any motor vehicle.” The case is Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v City of Redondo Beach, 06-55750. Although this is not directly related to petitioning (because petitioners never expect anyone driving a car to pull over to the curb, get out of the car, and sign a petition), the decision illustrates the protection that the First Amendment gives to anyone who uses a public sidewalk for First Amendment activity.