3 Anaheim City Council Council meeting closed by fire marshal Anaheim City Council Council meeting closed by fire marshal. Protest of shooting of citizen
4 Back to 17911st Amendment:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
5 The areas that apply to local governments Public forum doctrineTraditional public forumLimited / designated public forumNon public forumRegulation of speech generallySign ordinancesEmployeesRules for governing body membersPrayer at public meetings
6 Traditional public forum – speech on any topic Town squareSidewalks – may not impede pedestrian useReasonable time, manner & place restrictions – not on content of the speech
7 Traditional public forum? Protest on Capitol grounds – 2012 session of General Assembly (Capitol steps not a public forum)
9 Designated or Limited public forum Portion of council meeting where public comment accepted.Public hearingPublic comment periodSpeech limited to topic under considerationDuring limited public forum portion of meeting
10 1st Amendment right does not extend to: Disruptive speech – Steinburg casePersonal attacksHAMPTON — Hampton Mayor Molly Joseph Ward on Thursday defended kicking former state lawmaker Tom Gear out of a City Council meeting on Wednesday, saying she had no choice but to enforce the council's rules.Gear was forced to leave the meeting and charged with trespassing when he refused to stop demanding an answer to his question: When did Ward first learn about the Hampton Police Division's undercover cigarette operation?"I believe it's my job as chair of the body to make sure that rules of protocol and decorum are followed," Ward said, saying Gear was out of order at the meeting. "I did my best to make sure that the rules of the body were followed.“ Daily Press, 10/11/12Council or other public body may/should set rules – time limits, non-repetitive.
11 Non-public forum Most of council meeting not a public forum Public has right to attend and right to be quietPublic buildingsgenerally a non-public forum
12 Other free speech issue at meetings Prayer at public meeting?Government speech4th Circuit has repeatedly made rule clear – no religious-specific prayersAttorneys fees a practical riskWhat about a Wiccan? NopeBut wait! US Supreme Court to hear Greece, NY v. Galloway. Could overturn 4th Circuit.
13 Why can’t we be friends? Disruptive council members Council may not restrict a councilor’s speech based on the position he or she takesMay discipline a member for disruptive speech, personal attacks (time, manner & place restrictions – content neutral)§ D. A governing body may punish or fine a member of the governing body for disorderly behavior.
14 Other free speech issues Arlington sign ordinance Wag More Dogs, LLC v. Cozart
16 Up in smoke?Arlington head shop after Wag More. Blunt repainted to whale “We don’t sell whales”
17 Town of Cary, NC sign ordinance – town ordinance upheld by 4th Circuit.
18 Lexington, VA street banners City passed rule to make street a non-public forum. Upheld by 4th Circuit.
19 Public employees’ right to speech May not discipline for speech on matters of public concern – Pickering v. Board of Ed., 391 U.S. 563, 88 S. Ct (1968).must be on a matter of public concern, and the employee’s interest in expressing herself on this matter must not be outweighed by any injury the speech could cause to the ‘interest of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.’
20 Virginia Municipal League Mark FlynnGeneral CounselVirginia Municipal League