Chapter 19.4 -


Chapter 19.4

Freedom of Petition and Assembly

Common Examples of Freedom of

Assembly & Petition

A noisy street demonstration by neo-


A candlelight vigil of opponents of the death penalty

Pro-life people singing hymns and picketing in front of an abortion clinic

Gay rights activists gathered on the steps of the state capitol

The Constitution’s Guarantees

1 st amendment: “…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the

Government for a redress of grievances.”

14 th amendment’s due process clause

Peaceable vs. civil disobedience

Peaceable assembly and petition is a civil right

Civil disobedience is NOT protected by the


Peaceable Assembly vs. Civil Disobedience

Time-Place-Manner Regulations

Government can make and enforce reasonable rules covering time, place, and manner of assemblies.

Grayned v. City of Rockford (re: school diversions)

Rules must be content neutral .

Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (re: unlimited power to set exact fees)

Public Property

The Supreme Court has upheld laws that require advance notice and permits for demonstrations in public places.

Questions raised:

How and to what extent can government regulate demonstrators?

Does the Constitution require that police officers allow an unpopular group to continue demonstrating when it excites others to violence?

When in the name of peace and safety, can police order demonstrators to disband?

Public Property (Cont’d)

Gregory v. Chicago , 1969 (re: segregation, neighborhood violence, & disorderly conduct)

Madsen v. Women’s Health Services ,

1994 (re: blocking abortion clinics)

Hill v. Colorado , 2000 (re: sidewalk counseling and unwanted approach at abortion clinics)

Private Property

The rights of assembly and petition do not give the right to trespass on private property.

Permission must be granted by the property owner

Freedom of Association

Can an organization be forced to disclose the names of all its members to the government? ( NAACP v. Alabama , 1958)

Can the Boy Scouts of America exclude gays from their organization? ( Boy Scouts of America v. Dale , 2000)

Organizational Decision (May 23, 2013) –

“yes” to youths, but “no” to adults