The extent to which gov'ts may regulate speech-related conduct depends on whether the forum involved is a public forum, a designated public forum, or a non-public forum.
Public property that has historically been open to speech-related activities (streets, sidewalks, and public parks) is called a public forum.
Public property that has not historically been open to speech-related activities, but which the gov't has thrown open for such activities on a permanent or limited bsis, by practice or policy (school rooms), is called a designated or limited public forum.
The gov't may regulate speech in public forums and designated public forums with reasonable, time, place, and manner regulations.
- TEST: To be valid, gov't regulations of speech and assembly in public forums and designated public forums must:
- (1) be content neutral (ie, subject matter and viewpoint);
- (2) be narrowly tailored to serve an important gov't interest; and
- (3) leave open alternative channels of communication.
- [even is reg meets test above, it might still be struck on other grounds -- overbreadth, vagueness, unfettered discretion, etc]
- Injunctions that restrict 1st amendment activity in public forums are treated differently. The test to be used to determine whether an injunction is constitutional depends on whether the injunction is content neutral.
CONTENT BASED: it will be upheld only if it is necessary to achieve a compelling gov't interest.
CONTENT NEUTRAL: will be upheld only if it burdens no more speech than is necessary to achieve an important gov't purpose.