Brief Fact Summary. Pock Against Racism (Respondent) is a sponsor of a rock concert who challenges New York City’s restriction on the volume of performances on Central Park.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Government regulation of a public forum does not have to be the least restrictive alternative.
Central Park contains an amphitheatre that is next to Central Park West and a quiet relaxation area of the park, Sheep Meadow. In an effort to maintain the quietness of the area, the city has imposed a restriction on all performances to use specified amplification equipment and staff provided by the city.
Issue. Is the city’s restriction of amplification equipment Constitutionally valid?
Held. Yes. This is a proper time, place, manner restriction that does not discriminate based on content.
Dissent. Points of Law - for Law School Success
The essence of narrow tailoring is to focus on the source of the evils the government seeks to eliminate and eliminate them without at the same time banning or significantly restricting a substantial quantity of speech that does not create the same evils. View Full Point of Law
This regulation is not narrowly tailored and the majority has abandoned the requirement that a regulation be the least intrusive means of achieving the goal of quiet. Discussion.
The city has a legitimate interest in keeping the sound from permeating the surrounding residential and other quiet areas. A content-neutral restriction does not need to be the least restrictive manner of accomplishing a goal. But, it must still be narrowly drawn and not substantially burden the speech. Volume control is not a burden on speech.