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Gilles v. Blanchard

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
477 F.3d 466 (2007)


Facts

James Gilles (plaintiff) was a traveling evangelist who used a confrontation style of preaching that included calling people in the crowds names, such as whoremonger and drunkard. In 2001, Gilles went to Vincennes University (the University) (defendant) and preached on a lawn in the middle of campus. Gilles had not been invited to speak on the campus. That incident resulted in a disturbance, and the University enacted a sales and/or solicitation policy that prohibited any solicitations on campus without prior approval. If approved, solicitors could only solicit in the brick walkway in front of the student union. The policy defined solicitation broadly to include the act of seeking to obtain by permission or entice a person to action. Gilles returned to the campus after the policy was enacted and was directed to the brick walkway. Gilles attempted to preach from that location, but he found it too noisy to attract an audience. Gilles then sued the University, alleging that the solicitation policy violated his First Amendment free-speech rights. The district court granted summary judgment to the University, and Gilles appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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