Globe Newspaper Company v. Beacon Hill Architectural Commission

100 F.3d 175 (1996)

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Globe Newspaper Company v. Beacon Hill Architectural Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
100 F.3d 175 (1996)

Facts

A group of local and national newspaper publishers (Newspapers) (plaintiffs) sued the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (Commission) (defendant) to challenge a regulation known as the Street Furniture Guideline (SFG) that banned newspaper distribution racks from the Beacon Hill historic district in Boston in violation of the Newspapers’ First Amendment right to freedom of the press. The Commission, which was charged with the duty of reviewing any proposed architectural changes or additions in Beacon Hill, adopted the SFG in 1991 to ban all street furniture, including newsracks, except those authorized for public safety or welfare. The Newspapers operated 39 newsracks in Beacon Hill. They also distributed newspapers in retail stores and by mail, home delivery, and street vendors. The Newspapers brought suit in district court on the grounds that the Commission lacked authority to regulate newsracks and that the SFG violated the Newspapers’ First Amendment rights. The district court ruled in favor of the Newspapers, and the Commission appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, C.J.)

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