Jack Fruth: Village of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.

Jack Fruth: Village of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.
CANNANNEW REPORT

Village of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc. Jack Fruth 102 S.Ct. 1186, 71 L.Ed.2d. 362 Issue Whether the Village of Hoffman Estates’ ordinance regulating the sale of products displayed with or in proximity to literature encouraging illegal drugs is overbroad or void for vagueness? On February 20, 1978 the village of Hoffman Estates, Cooke County, Illinois (village) enacted an ordinance regulating items “designed or marketed for use with illegal cannabis or drugs.” It included a provision that required an application to sell “any item, effect, paraphernalia, accessory or thing which is designed or marketed for use with illegal cannabis or drugs.” The ordinance also regulated items within proximity of “literature encouraging illegal use of cannabis or illegal drugs.” Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc. (Flipside), a merchant in the village, filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and sought a preliminary injunction against the village. The District Court, after hearing arguments, issued an opinion upholding the constitutionality of the ordinance and denying the injunction. The Court of Appeals reversed on the grounds that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague on its face. Rule First a court must determine if the enactment reaches a substantial amount of constitutionally protected speech to be overly broad. Then The Court looks at vagueness, since a law can satisfy the overbreadth test and still be unconstitutionally vague. On the vagueness challenge the court uses the standards outlined in Grayned v. City of Rockford. Grayned lays out the two problems with overly vague laws: the ability for an average person to know what is prohibited with fair warning, and the delegation of basic policy matters to individual judges or police officers making the outcomes subjective. The law must be vague in all of its applications. Analysis…

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Source : Jack Fruth: Village of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.

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