Constitution

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statue-of-liberty serious charges

FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

If the statements you seek to prohibit involve those designed to hurt you economically, you definitely need expert legal assistance. In Franklin Chalfont Assoc. v. Kalikow, 392 Pa. Super. 452 (1990), the superior court of Pennsylvania held: Under the federal constitution, any system of prior restraint bears heavy presumption against validity. New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713, 91 S.Ct. 2140, 29 L.Ed.2d 822 (1971). See also, Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S.Ct. 625, 75 L.Ed. 1357 (1931).

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to uphold injunctions against speech intended to harm economically the business of another, even where the state courts have found the activities in question to be “coercive and intimidating, rather than informative.” Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415, 91 S.Ct. 1575, 29 L.Ed.2d 1 (1971). In Keefe, the majority observed that “no prior decisions support the claim that the interest of an individual in being free from public criticism of his business practice in pamphlets or leaflets warrants use of the injunctive power of a court.” 402 U.S. at 419, 91 S.Ct. at 1577.

Merely because the speech is intended to influence conduct does not remove it from First amendment protection. Id. Peaceful picketing carried on in a location generally open to the public is, absent other factors involving the purpose or manner of the picketing, protected by the First Amendment. Amalgamated Food Employees v. Logan Valley Plaza, 458 U.S. 886, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982). Speech in the form of a boycott, marches, and picketing, which urges action in which listeners are legally permitted to engage is protected, NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, 458 U.S. at 907, 102 S.Ct. at 3422, as is peaceful picketing of a business even though the purpose “was [*463] concededly to induce customers not to patronize” the business. Id., citing Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 60 S.Ct. 736, 84 L.Ed. 1093. Appellants’ picketing herein encouraged potential home-buyers to refrain from purchasing homes. The action urged was one in which listeners were legally entitled to engage and it was urged in a fashion which did not involve trespass or disruption; thus it was protected.

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