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International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee

Running The Gamut, Hare Krishna And The Public Forum Doctrine, Defining A Public Forum, Impact


International Society for Krishna Consciousness, et al.


Walter Lee, Police Superintendent of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Petitioners' Claim

That the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's regulations against soliciting funds and distributing literature inside airports under its control violated the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Barry A. Fisher

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Arthur P. Berg

Justices for the Court

Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 June 1992


Denied the petitioners' claim, upholding a court of appeals decision that airports did not constitute public fora, and as such are legally justified in regulating speech on their premises in a "reasonable" manner.


The ruling placed airports in the category of nonpublic fora for the purpose of evaluating government regulation of speech. Under the public forum doctrine, regulation of speech in nonpublic fora need only be "reasonable and content neutral."

Related Cases

  • Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization, 307 U.S. 486 (1939).
  • Perry Education Association v. Perry Local Educators' Association, 460 U.S. 37 (1983).
  • Board of Airport Commissioners of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, 482 U.S. 569 (1983).
  • Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, 473 U.S. 788 (1985).
  • United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720 (1990).

Additional topics

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