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Speech and Assembly in Public Streets and Parks

Public streets, sidewalks, and parks are generally considered public forums, and content-based restrictions on these will be strictly scrutinized by the courts. However, reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions are permitted if they are neutral regarding the content of the speech.

The use of public streets, sidewalks, and parks may not always be considered use of public forums, which often causes confusion in this area. For example, in the 1990 case of United States v. Kokinda, the Supreme Court held that a regulation restricting use of a sidewalk in front of a post office was valid because, in part, that particular sidewalk was not a public forum. Similar results have been reached with respect to some public parks.

Inside Speech and Assembly in Public Streets and Parks