Virginia v. Hicks, 539 U.S. 113, 3 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 113 (2003)

Opinion of the Court

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court.

The issue presented in this case is whether the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority's trespass policy is facially invalid under the First Amendment's overbreadth doctrine.



The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) owns and operates a housing development for low-income residents called Whitcomb Court. Until June 23, 1997, the city of Richmond owned the streets within Whitcomb Court. The city council decided, however, to "privatize" these streets in an effort to combat rampant crime and drug dealing in Whitcomb Court—much of it committed and conducted by nonresidents. The council enacted Ordinance No. 97-181-197, which provided, in part:

" '§ 1. That Carmine Street, Bethel Street, Ambrose Street, Deforrest Street, the 2100-2300 Block of Sussex Street and the 2700-2800 Block of Magnolia Street, in Whitcomb Court . . . be and are hereby closed to public

M. Bishop; for the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression by J. Joshua Wheeler and Robert M. O'Neil; and for Watch-tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., by Paul D. Polidoro and Philip Brumley.

A brief of amici curiae was filed for the State of Alabama et al. by Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Attorney General of Missouri, James R. Layton, State Solicitor, Erwin O. Switzer III, and Michele L. Jackson, Assistant Attorney General of Alabama, and by the Attorneys General for their respective jurisdictions as follows: Gregg D. Renkes of Alaska, M. Jane Brady of Delaware, Mark J. Bennett of Hawaii, Steve Carter of Indiana, Charlie J. Crist, Jr., of Florida, Mike Moore of Mississippi, Jim Petro of Ohio, W. A. Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, Hardy Myers of Oregon, Anabelle Rodríguez of Puerto Rico, Lawrence E. Long of South Dakota, Paul G. Summers of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Mark L. Shurtleff of Utah.


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