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Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad

420 U.S. 546 (1975)

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Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad

United States Supreme Court

420 U.S. 546 (1975)

Facts

Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. (Southeastern) (plaintiff) applied for the use of a city-owned theatrical venue for a showing of the musical Hair in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Because the musical contained nudity and sexual content, the directors of the Chattanooga Memorial Auditorium (the board) (defendants) voted to deny Southeastern’s use of the venue on obscenity grounds. Southeastern filed for temporary injunctive relief. This was denied by the district court, which found that Southeastern had failed to carry its burden of persuasion though the board had not filed an answer to Southeastern’s complaint. Five months later, Southeastern sought a permanent injunction against the board, and the board filed an answer. The district court ruled against Southeastern, holding that public nudity and obscene acts were separate from constitutionally protected speech and that the presentation of the musical would violate city ordinances and state laws against obscenity. Southeastern appealed. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed. Southeastern again appealed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

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