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Board of Airport Commissioners v. Jews for Jesus, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
482 U.S. 569 (1987)



In 1983, the Board of Airport Commissioners for the Los Angeles International Airport (Board) (defendants) passed a resolution that prohibited “First Amendment activities by any individual and/or entity” in the Central Terminal Area of the airport. Violators were subject to legal action by the city under the resolution. In July 1984, Alan Howard Snyder, a minister for Jews for Jesus, Inc., a nonprofit religious organization (plaintiff), was distributing free religious material in the Central Terminal Area when he was stopped by an airport peace officer. The officer showed Snyder the resolution, told him he was in violation, and asked him to leave or face legal action. Snyder complied. Jews for Jesus and Snyder then sued the Board in the District Court for the Central District of California, claiming the resolution violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The district court held that the resolution was unconstitutional, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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