United States Third Circuit

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US v. Marcavage, 09-3573

Conviction of defendant for violating the terms of a permit and interfering with agency function, arising from his refusal to move his anti-abortion demonstration from the sidewalk in front of Liberty Bell to a nearby location, is vacated where: 1) the sidewalk at issue, as a thoroughfare sidewalk, seamlessly connected to public sidewalks at either end and intended for general public use, is a traditional public forum; 2) restrictions imposed on defendant were content-based as the park rangers' actions were motivated by the content of defendant's speech; and 3) defendant's First Amendment right to free speech was impermissibly infringed because government's exclusion of defendant from the sidewalk cannot withstand strict scrutiny as the exclusion was neither narrowly tailored to serve the government's interests nor the least restrictive means of doing so.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 04/13/2010
  • Decided 06/16/2010
  • Published 06/16/2010


  • Before FISHER, HARDIMAN and COWEN, Circuit Judges.


  • United States Third Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • C. Scott Shields, (Argued), Shields & Hoppe, Media, PA, Counsel for Appellant., Edward Diver, John J. Grogan, Langer, Grogan & Diver, Philadelphia, PA.

  • For Appellees:
  • Richard W. Goldberg, (Argued), Office of United States Attorney, Philadelphia, PA, Counsel for Appellee.
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