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Boos v. Barry

United States Supreme Court
485 U.S. 312 (1988)


Facts

A District of Columbia law prohibited the display of any sign within five hundred feet of a foreign embassy if that sign tended to bring that foreign government into “public odium” or “public disrepute.” Boos and two other individuals (plaintiffs) wished to carry signs that criticized the governments of the Soviet Union and Nicaragua on the public sidewalks within five hundred feet of their respective embassies in Washington, D.C. They brought suit in district court against Barry, Mayor of the District of Columbia, (defendant) challenging the law as an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment freedoms. The district court granted the mayor’s motion for summary judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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