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Inc. Airport Commissioners v. Jews for Jesus

Significance, Resolution Unconstitutional, No Narrowing Interpretation Possible, Impact


Board of Airport Commissioners of The City of Los Angeles, et al.


Jews for Jesus, Inc., et al.

Petitioners' Claim

That a resolution adopted by airport commissioners, banning all First Amendment activities within the central terminal area at Los Angeles International Airport, does not violate the First Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

James R. Kapel

Chief Lawyer for Respondents

Jay Alan Sekulow

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

15 June 1987


The resolution violates the First Amendment.

Public Forum Issue Postponed

In a concurring opinion joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice White disagreed with the Court's decision to postpone a ruling on the issue of whether the airport was a public forum. Justice White also pointed out that the Court's failure to decide the issue did not mean that a majority of the Court agreed with the lower courts' conclusion that the airport was a traditional public forum.

Related Cases

  • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
  • Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601 (1973).
  • Perry Ed. Assn. v. Perry Local Educators' Assn., 460 U.S. 37 (1983).
  • United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720 (1990).
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672 (1992).
  • Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).

Further Readings

  • Laycock, D. "Equal Access and Moments of Silence: The Equal Status of Religious Speech by Private Speakers," 81 Northwestern University Law Review 1, 48 (1986).
  • New York Times, March 4, 1998.
  • Words and Phrases. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co., 1981.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988