In 1972, the City of Detroit adopted two zoning ordinances that required adult movie theaters to be sufficiently dispersed throughout the city. Specifically, an adult theater could not be located within one thousand feet of any two other “regulated uses” or within five hundred feet of a residential area. The term “regulated uses” included ten different kinds of establishments in addition to adult theaters. American Mini Theatres, Inc. (plaintiff) brought suit in federal district court against the mayor and the City of Detroit (defendants) on the grounds that the ordinances were an unconstitutional violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court ruled in favor of the city, but the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.