The Public Forum Doctrine and Public Housing Authorities: Can You Say That Here?


This article reviews a number of federal cases applying the Public Forum Doctrine of the First Amendment. The doctrine concerns the use of public property for expressive purposes. These cases explore the application of this doctrine to situations were the government is acting as landlord, and not as sovereign. Several of these federal cases have been seriously questioned, if not outright rejected, by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The state court has taken a much more absolutist view of the Free Speech – First Amendment rights of public housing tenants than has most of the federal case law.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Housing Law

Date of this Version

October 2006