First Amendment Concepts for Protests in Cities

Informational Memo

Published: June 23, 2020

First Amendment Concepts for Protests in Cities
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This material contains general information; it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Any attorney general opinions cited in this material are available on request from the League’s Research and Information Service staff.

Learn legal concepts related to First Amendment free speech rights in the U.S. and state of Minnesota Constitutions and how cities balance them with public safety concerns. Read about speech that is not protected, ways to deal with unpopular ideas and how others may react to them. Understand regulations that are content-neutral (addressing time, place and manner, but not based on content). Describes how cities may choose to regulate protests, marches, rallies and other demonstrations in city parks or streets by ordinance to guard public safety against hecklers, violence and threats.