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City of Chicago v. Morales

United States Supreme Court
527 US 41 (1999)


In 1992, the Chicago City Council enacted the Gang Congregation Ordinance which prohibited “criminal street gang members” from “loitering” with one another in any public place. The ordinance was violated if (1) a police officer reasonably believed that at least one of the two or more persons present in a “public place” was a “criminal street gang member,” (2) the persons were “loitering,” defined as “remaining in any one place with no apparent purpose,” (3) the officer ordered “all” of the person to disperse from the area, and (4) any person disobeyed the officer’s order. Morales (defendant) and others were accused of violating the law, but the charges were dismissed by the trial court that held the law to be unconstitutionally vague. In a consolidated appeal from several of those holdings, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed with the trial courts and affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review whether the state’s supreme court correctly held the ordinance violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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