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Is there such a thing as 'guilt by association'?
 
Can what a customer wears in a shopping mall be restricted?
 
What is the difference between the freedom of assembly and the freedom of association?
 
What kinds of associations are protected?
 
When can the government restrict associations?
 
How broad is the freedom of association?
 
What role did the First Amendment play in the civil rights movement?
 
Why do legislatures and judges pass or approve of buffer zones around abortion clinics?
 
Do individuals have First Amendment rights on others’ private property?
 
Has the U.S. Supreme Court addressed any case involving funeral-protest legislation?
 
How might a law banning protests at funerals discriminate on the basis of viewpoint?
 
When and where can I protest without fear of being arrested?
 

The U.S. Supreme Court held on Feb. 28, 2006, in a case involving anti-abortion protests, that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations. Use of those laws against protesters also was opposed by unions and a variety of social activists. Many states currently are considering laws that would ban protests at funerals, but those bans would be based on different kinds of laws. The proposed state bans often set out time limits starting before and ending after funeral services; or map out physical distances to separate families from demonstrators.

As a general rule, the government cannot ban speech — including public protests — because of the protest’s “content,” or subject matter. Government can restrict the time, place and manner of the speech in order to meet a higher need, such as public safety. What a demonstrator might say without challenge at noon in the public square likely would have First Amendment protection, while that same speech at midnight under an apartment building window likely would not.

 
 
Do we have an unfettered right to protest on government property?
 
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Last system update: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | 04:04:50
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Curfews, loitering & freedom of association
Civil rights & First Amendment
Abortion protests & buffer zones
Assembly on private property
Funeral protests