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Grayned v. City of Rockford

The Lone Dissenter

Every one of the Court's nine justices agreed that the city of Rockford's antinoise ordinance was appropriately specific. However, Justice Douglas did dissent from one part of Marshall's opinion. He felt that the demonstration that Grayned had been a part of, which had always been intended as a silent demonstration, was not actually in violation of the antinoise ordinance. "There was noise," Douglas wrote, "but most of it was made by the police . . . "

As a result, Douglas wrote, Grayned's conviction should certainly be overturned, even though Grayned's argument had not rested on his own behavior, but only the question of the ordinance being too broad. Douglas felt that if the ordinance really was not too broad, it should not be understood to apply to the demonstration that Grayned had been a part of--and it certainly should not have been applied to Grayned himself.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Grayned v. City of Rockford - Significance, Who Made The Noise?, Broad Laws And Specific Restrictions, The Lone Dissenter, Related Cases