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Lebron v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation

Significance, An Important Reversal, A Dissenting Opinion, A Second Appeal, Impact


Michael A. Lebron


National Railroad Passenger Corporation

Petitioner's Claim

That refusal to place an advertisement on Amtrak's Spectacular billboard had violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

David D. Cole

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Kevin T. Baine

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia (writing for the Court), David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 February 1995


The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and held that Amtrak was a government agency. Therefore, Amtrak is part of the federal government subject to the free speech requirements of the First Amendment. As such, Amtrak could not prohibit political billboards from train stations.

Related Cases

  • McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat 316 (1819).
  • Osborn v. Bank of United States, 9 Wheat 738 (1819).
  • Burton v. Wilmington Park Authority, 365 U.S. 715 (1961).

Further Readings

  • Reinventing the Government Corporation. http://www.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/reinvent.htm
  • U S A Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/court/nscot190.htm

Additional topics

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