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Greer v. Spock

    Brief Fact Summary. Respondent, Spock was a presidential candidate that wanted to enter a military base and distribute campaign literature.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Military bases may constitutionally regulate speech because they are not non-public forums.

    Facts. Fort Dix is a military post located in New Jersey. Generally, it is open to civilian visitors. However, there is a local regulation that precludes speeches and demonstrations of a partisan political nature. Respondent and some of his running mates sent a letter to the General in charge of the base announcing their intent to distribute campaign literature to the recruits living there. The General denied the request for access citing the regulation.

    Issue. Is the regulation of speech on a military base constitutional?

    Held. Yes. The base is governmental property devoted to the training of soldiers; it is not a public forum.

    Dissent. The main purpose of the base does not preclude it from adhering to the mandate of the 1st Amendment.

    Discussion. The majority relies on the specific purpose and use of the military facility. It is not open to the public for all purposes and serves primarily as a training base for soldiers.


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