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Ward v. Rock Against Racism

United States Supreme Court
491 U.S. 781 (1989)


Facts

In close proximity to a bandshell was Sheep Meadow, a grassy open area. New York City designated Sheep Meadow as a quiet area for private recreations such as reclining, walking, and reading. The bandshell was also close to the apartments and residences of Central Park West. As part of its attempt to regulate the volume of amplified music at the bandshell, New York City requires bandshell performers to use sound-amplification equipment and a sound technician provided by the city. Rock Against Racism (RAR) (plaintiff) was a sponsor of rock concerts at the bandshell. RAR challenged the regulation against Ward (defendant), a New York City official, in federal district court on the grounds that the sound equipment and technician requirements violated the First Amendment. The district court upheld the requirements as reasonable time, place, and manner regulations. 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 (Kennedy, J.)

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Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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