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City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
475 U.S. 41 (1986)


Facts

The City of Renton (defendant) enacted a zoning ordinance that prohibited adult motion picture theaters from locating within one thousand feet of any residential zone, single- or multiple-family dwelling, church, park, or school. Theaters were defined as “adult” if they distributed media depicting, describing, or relating to “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas” for observation by patrons. Playtime Theatres, Inc. (plaintiff) was an adult theater that sought to challenge the ordinance as an unconstitutional restriction of First Amendment speech. It brought suit in district court against the City of Renton. The district court entered summary judgment for the City on the grounds that the ordinance was constitutional. The court of appeals reversed, and the City of Renton appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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