PLS 460 Erznoznik v City of Jacksonville

PLS 460 Erznoznik v City of Jacksonville - did have a right...

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Erznoznik v City of Jacksonville Facts of the Case: The University Drive-In Theater in Jacksonville, Florida had a screen that was visible from nearby public streets. The theater showed an R-rated film containing female nudity, which violated a Jacksonville city ordinance that prohibited the showing of films containing nudity if the film was visible from a public area. Richard Erznoznik, the theater’s manager, was charged with a Class C offense under the ordinance. He challenged the ordinance in Duval County Circuit Court, which upheld the statute. The District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District, affirmed the decision. The Supreme Court of Florida denied certiorari. Question: Did Jacksonville’s ordinance violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment? Conclusion: Yes. In a 6-3 decision, the Court struck down the Jacksonville ordinance. While individuals
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Unformatted text preview: did have a right to not be exposed to offensive films, the ordinance singled out "some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive than others," Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. wrote for the majority. Since the "offended viewer readily can avert his eyes" from the films shown, Jacksonvilles distinction between films with nudity and films without nudity was unconstitutional. Under Police Dept. of Chicago v. Mosley , "government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content." The ordinance was "broader than permissible" in trying to protect children from exposure to nudity and "invalid" as an attempt to prevent traffic accidents. Justice William O. Douglas authored a concurring opinion. Decisions Decision: 6 votes for Erznoznik, 3 vote(s) against Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly...
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