Under Lexington’s ordinance, newspapers cannot be delivered to residential driveways. Image source: CBS San Francisco.

In a case that we previously reported on last winter, a federal district court in Kentucky ruled last month that Lexington’s law restricting the locations where newspapers may be delivered meets intermediate scrutiny under the First Amendment.  Lexington’s ordinance requires that newspapers be delivered on porches, attached to doors, placed in mail slots, left in distribution boxes, or personally delivered.

The facts of the case can be found in our January 2018 post on the case of Lexington H-L Services, Inc. v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.  After the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s entry of a preliminary injunction in the case, the parties proceeded to summary judgment briefing on the understanding that there were no genuine disputes as to material fact.

In ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment, the court first found that the restriction on the locations where newspaper can be delivered is content neutral:  the regulation is not dependent upon the content of the newspaper, but simply identifies the locations on private property where a newspaper may be delivered.  Moreover, the court observed that the city’s goals in reducing litter, visual blight, and public safety were content neutral in purpose.  The court went on to find that the restrictions on delivery were narrowly tailored to these goals.
Continue Reading On Summary Judgment, District Court Upholds Lexington Newspaper-Distribution Law

Matt Smerge of Left Field Media hawking newspapers at a Cubs game. Source: Chicago Reader.

On Monday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Chicago’s ban on the peddling of merchandise on sidewalks adjacent to Wrigley Field was a constitutional time, place, and manner regulation that survived intermediate scrutiny.  The ordinance was challenged by Left Field Media, which publishes a magazine called Chicago Baseball and sells copies outside of Wrigley Field before Chicago Cubs home games.  Chicago’s “Adjacent Sidewalks Ordinance” prohibits peddling merchandise on any sidewalk adjacent to Wrigley Field, for the purpose of allowing safe pedestrian passage.  Because the Adjacent Sidewalks Ordinance prohibited the sale of all merchandise—“[t]he ordinance applies as much to sales of bobblehead dolls and baseball jerseys as it does to the sale of printed matter”—the appeals court found that the ordinance was content neutral in light of Reed v. Town of Gilbert.  The appeals court’s decision upholds the prior denial by a federal district judge of the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
Continue Reading Appeals Court: Wrigley Field Peddling Ordinance Not a First Amendment Violation