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Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence

United States Supreme Court
468 U.S. 288 (1984)


Facts

A National Park Service regulation prohibited camping and sleeping overnight in areas of certain national parks in order to promote the conservation of park property. The National Park Service did, however, issue permits for certain groups to use the park for demonstrations involving the airing of views or grievances. The National Park Service permitted the erection of temporary structures as part of demonstrations, as long as they were not used for sleeping or camping. In the winter of 1982, the National Park Service issued a permit to the Community for Creative Non-Violence (plaintiff) to conduct a demonstration in the parks to illustrate the plight of the homeless. Demonstrators hoped to build symbolic tent cities and sleep in them during the winter nights. The National Park Service prohibited the planned sleeping pursuant to its regulations and the Community for Creative Non-Violence (“the Community”) brought suit challenging this decision on the ground that it violated the First Amendment in federal district court. The district court granted summary judgment for Clark (defendant) and the National Park Service. The court of appeals reversed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, 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 (Marshall, J.)

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