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City of Dallas v. Stanglin
United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 19 (1989)
Mike Stanglin (plaintiff) owned the Twilight Skating Rink in a mostly White neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. As the popularity of roller skating declined in the late 1970s, Stanglin dedicated some nights to dancing with a local DJ who played soul and funk. The dance nights proved extremely popular, drawing crowds of mostly Black teenagers. In response to noise and traffic complaints, Dallas enacted an ordinance requiring any dance hall with teenage patrons to obtain a special license with restricted operating hours. In addition, even if they did not serve alcohol, teenage dance halls could admit customers only between the ages of 14 and 17, which was later amended to 18. Stanglin obtained a teenage-dance-hall license and divided the rink into two sections. On one side, anyone between 14 and 18 could dance, while people of all ages could skate on the other. Stanglin sued to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance, arguing it violated equal protection and infringed the right of teens between 14 and 18 to associate with people outside that age bracket. A Dallas urban planner testified that because older teens had access to drugs and alcohol, and more liberal sexual attitudes, the city was concerned about older and younger teens mixing. A police officer testified that the city intended the age restriction to discourage juvenile crime. The court upheld the ordinance, and Stanglin appealed. The Texas appellate court upheld the operating-hours restriction, but it struck down the age restriction. The Supreme Court granted review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)
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