Ward v. Rock Against Racism
Rock And A Loud Place, A Sound Lesson
Benjamin R. Ward, New York City Police Commissioner
Rock Against Racism
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that a city guideline regulating sound volume as unconstitutional was in error.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
Leonard J. Koerner
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
William M. Kunstler
Justices for the Court
Harry A. Blackmun, Anthony M. Kennedy (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White
William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens
Date of Decision
22 June 1989
In favor of appellant Ward, reversing the appeal court decision.
Prompted by lawsuits over the volume of rock concerts, the Court found itself weighing the legality of local regulation versus the right to free speech.
- United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).
- Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972).
- Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, 476 U.S. 267 (1986).
- Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312 (1988).
- Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474 (1988).
- Greenhouse, Linda. "Supreme Court Accord: Rock Music Is Loud."New York Times, 28 February 1989 p. A1.
- Kunstler, William M. My Life As A Radical Lawyer. New York: Birch Lane, 1994.
- Pareles, Jon. "Second-Guessing the First Amendment." New York Times, 12 March 1989, Section II 28.
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