The Town of Brookfield, Wisconsin (Town) (defendant) adopted an ordinance that banned picketing of any kind near a residence. Specifically, the ordinance stated: “It is unlawful for any person to engage in picketing before or about the residence or dwelling of any individual in the Town of Brookfield.” A group of individuals opposed to abortion (plaintiffs) had been picketing outside the house of a doctor who performs abortions. When the Town passed the ordinance, the plaintiffs stopped picketing and brought suit, seeking injunctive relief. The district court granted a preliminary injunction, finding that the ordinance violated the First Amendment and enjoining the Town from enforcing the ordinance. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.