Friday, October 07, 2005

No right to get footloose on town property in the Fourth Circuit

In Willis v. Town of Marshall, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Traxler, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins, affirmed in part and vacated in part the District Court's disposition of a section 1983 brought against a North Carolina town which had barred the plaintiff from unruly dancing at concerts at the town community center. Judge Williams wrote a separate opinion concurring in part.

The District Court denied the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and granted summary judgment in favor of the town, concluding that the dirty dancing was not constitutionally protected. The majority agreed with the District Court that the plaintiff's style of dancing at the community center was not protected by the First Amendment, but she might have an equal protection claim for being singled out by the Town.

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