Virginia v. Hicks, 539 U.S. 113, 8 (2003)

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Opinion of the Court

be "substantial," not only in an absolute sense, but also relative to the scope of the law's plainly legitimate applications, ibid., before applying the "strong medicine" of overbreadth invalidation, id., at 613.


Petitioner asks this Court to impose restrictions on "the use of overbreadth standing," limiting the availability of facial overbreadth challenges to those whose own conduct involved some sort of expressive activity. Brief for Petitioner 13, 24-31. The United States as amicus curiae makes the same proposal, Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 14-17, and urges that Hicks' facial challenge to the RRHA trespass policy "should not have been entertained," id., at 10. The problem with these proposals is that we are reviewing here the decision of a State Supreme Court; our standing rules limit only the federal courts' jurisdiction over certain claims. "[S]tate courts are not bound by the limitations of a case or controversy or other federal rules of justiciability even when they address issues of federal law." ASARCO Inc. v. Kadish, 490 U. S. 605, 617 (1989). Whether Virginia's courts should have entertained this overbreadth challenge is entirely a matter of state law.

This Court may, however, review the Virginia Supreme Court's holding that the RRHA policy violates the First Amendment. We may examine, in particular, whether the claimed overbreadth in the RRHA policy is sufficiently "substantial" to produce facial invalidity. These questions involve not standing, but "the determination of [a] First Amendment challenge on the merits." Secretary of State of Md. v. Joseph H. Munson Co., 467 U. S. 947, 958-959 (1984). Because it is the Commonwealth of Virginia, not Hicks, that has invoked the authority of the federal courts by petitioning for a writ of certiorari, our jurisdiction to review the First Amendment merits question is clear under ASARCO, 490 U. S., at 617-618. The Commonwealth has suffered, as a consequence of the Virginia Supreme Court's "final judgment

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