United States v. Kokinda
Respondents, members of a political advocacy group, set up a table on a sidewalk near the entrance to a United States Post Office to solicit contributions, sell books and subscriptions to the organization's newspaper, and distribute literature on a variety of political issues. The sidewalk is the sole means by which customers may travel from the parking lot to the post office building and lies entirely on Postal Service property. When respondents refused to leave the premises, they were arrested and subsequently convicted by a Federal Magistrate of violating, inter alia, 39 CFR § 232.1(h)(1), which prohibits solicitation on postal premises. The District Court affirmed the convictions. It rejected respondents' argument that § 232.1(h)(1) violated the First Amendment, holding that the postal sidewalk was not a public forum and that the ban on solicitation is reasonable. The Court of Appeals reversed. Finding that the sidewalk is a public forum and analyzing the regulation as a time, place, and manner restriction, it determined that the Government has no significant interest in banning solicitation and that the regulation is not narrowly tailored to accomplish the asserted governmental interest.
Held: The judgment is reversed.
866 F.2d 699, (CA4 1989) reversed.
Justice O'CONNOR, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE, Justice WHITE, and Justice SCALIA, concluded that the regulation, as applied, does not violate the First Amendment. Pp. 725-737.