Monday, June 16, 2003

Virginia Supreme Court reversed 9-0 on First Amendment implications of public housing trespass policy

In Virginia v. Hicks, issued today, the unanimous Supreme Court of the United States in an opinion by Justice Scalia reversed the Virginia Supreme Court in the Richmond public housing trespass case. Justice Scalia concluded that the enforcement of a "notice-barment" rule even against persons who unlike Hicks had some purpose of expression would not violate the First Amendment. Justice Souter wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Breyer.

Gina Holland who covers the Supreme Court for the AP had this report on the case, and Bob Lewis who writes about Virginia for the AP had this report. The Richmond paper had this afternoon update on the case, the UPI has this report, and the Washington Post has this story.

This is a great victory for the housing authorities in particular, and for the Office of the Attorney General, while the 9-0 vote kind of makes the analyses by the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Court of Appeals seem well off the mark.

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