Michigan Muslim decision
mstern at ajcongress.org
Tue Oct 12 08:22:17 PDT 2004
Some while ago you asked about literature about responses to the Court's
See WK Muir, Law and attitude change: Prayer in the Public Schools
(University of Chicago 1973).I have a copy.
From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Douglas Laycock
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 9:51 AM
To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
Subject: Re: Michigan Muslim decision
The old ordinance apparently prohibited "any excessive, unnecessary
or unusually loud noise, or any noise which either annoys or disturbs."
Easy to see why the imam thought he wasn't violating that, and why sensitive
neighbors thought he was. This is hardly a neutral ordinance; it is
reminiscent of the ordinance struck down in Coates v. Cincinnati, which made
it illegal to conduct yourself in a manner annoying to persons passing by.
Most of the annoyance being expressed seems to flow more from the content
than from the noise.
We don't know how loud this is, or how far it can be heard, or how
early in the morning. Maybe it is such a problem that it would have been
regulated independently of its content. But my hunch is that if that were
so, the City Council would not have amended the ordinance to expressly
The underlying legal issue is how strong an interest is required to
justify suppressing speech or a religious practice. I assume that under
Kovacs v. Cooper they could ban all loudspeakers. But they may not want to
live with the consequences of that. It may shut down events they would like
to permit. I don't think they can ban only those loudspeakers that someone
University of Texas Law School
727 E. Dean Keeton St.
Austin, TX 78705
dlaycock at mail.law.utexas.edu
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Religionlaw