OCTOBER TERM, 1991
certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit
No. 91-155. Argued March 25, 1992—Decided June 26, 1992
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns and operates three major airports in the New York City area and controls certain terminal areas at the airports (hereinafter terminals), adopted a regulation forbidding, inter alia, the repetitive solicitation of money within the terminals. However, solicitation is permitted on the sidewalks outside the terminal buildings. Petitioner International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. (ISKCON), a not-for-profit religious corporation whose members, among other things, solicit funds in public places to support their movement, brought suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U. S. C. § 1983, alleging that the regulation deprived its members of their First Amendment rights. The District Court granted ISKCON summary judgment, concluding that the terminals were public fora, and that the regulation banning solicitation failed because it was not narrowly tailored to support a compelling state interest. The Court of Appeals reversed as here relevant. It determined that the terminals are not public fora, and found that the ban on solicitation was reasonable.
Held: 1. An airport terminal operated by a public authority is a nonpublic forum, and thus a ban on solicitation need only satisfy a reasonableness standard. Pp. 677-683. (a) The extent to which the Port Authority can restrict expressive activity on its property depends on the nature of the forum. Regulation of traditional public fora or designated public fora survives only if it is narrowly drawn to achieve a compelling state interest, but limitations on expressive activity conducted on any other government-owned property need only be reasonable to survive. Perry Ed. Assn. v. Perry Local Educators' Assn., 460 U. S. 37, 45, 46. Pp. 677-679. (b) Neither by tradition nor purpose can the terminals be described as public fora. Airports have not historically been made available for speech activity. Given the lateness with which the modern air terminal has made its appearance, it hardly qualifies as a property that has "immemorially . . . time out of mind" been held in the public trust and usedPage: Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007