Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:No-Loitering

Third Circuit

Seventh Circuit

Ninth Circuit Continue reading


Seventh Circuit: City May Not Close Adult Bookstores

Closed signMay a city require adult bookstores but not other establishments to close between midnight and 10am every night and all day Sunday?

In Annex Books v. City of Indianapolis, No. 13-1500 (Jan. 24, 2014), the Seventh Circuit said no. It struck down the City of Indianapolis’s requirement, which a district court had previously upheld. Although the City claimed that the restriction would lead to fewer armed robberies at or near the bookstores, the court held that “cities must protect readers from robbers rather than reduce risks by closing bookstores.” In the court’s view, “[t]hat the City’s regulation takes the form of closure is the nub of the problem.”

First, the court found that the evidence supporting the City’s justification is “weak as a statistical matter”: the data “do not show that robberies are more likely at adult bookstores than at other late-night retail outlets.”

Second, the court noted that although Continue reading


Eighth Circuit: Restricting Bible Distribution During Festival Likely Violates First Amendment

8th Circuit: Park did not adequately justify the need to limit literature distribution

8th Circuit: Park did not adequately justify the need to limit literature distribution

An evangelical Christian, Brian Johnson, sought to distribute Bibles at a gay-pride festival in a public park.

The park board would not allow it.

It had adopted a policy limiting literature distribution to confined areas, due to security concerns and the festival’s size.

Johnson claimed the policy violated the First Amendment, and sought an injunction barring its enforcement. In a 2-1 decision released Wednesday, Johnson v. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Bd., the Eighth Circuit ruled that Johnson would likely prevail on his claim.

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