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Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group of Boston

Significance, Parades Are Expression Too, Impact, Further Readings


John J. Hurley and South Boston Allied War Veterans Council


Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That First Amendment Freedom of Speech protection extends to a private organizer's choice of which groups can participate in Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade based on the content of their intended messages.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Chester Darling and Dwight G. Duncan

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

John Ward

Justices for the Court

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

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

19 June 1995


Upheld the parade organizer's claim and overturned two lower courts' decisions that banned the organizer's practice of excluding groups from parades due to the messages they express.

Related Cases

  • Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963).
  • Gregory v. City of Chicago, 394 U.S. 111 (1969).
  • Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. 405 (1974).
  • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC., 520 U.S. 180 (1997).

Additional topics

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