JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented for review is whether a State, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, may require a religious organization desiring to distribute and sell religious literature and to solicit donations at a state fair to conduct those activities only at an assigned location within the fairgrounds even though application of the rule limits the religious practices of the organization.
Each year, the Minnesota Agricultural Society (Society), a public corporation organized under the laws of Minnesota, see Minn. Stat. § 37.01 (1980), operates a State Fair on a 125-acre state-owned tract located in St. Paul, Minn.
The Society is authorized to make all "bylaws, ordinances, and rules, not inconsistent with law, which it may deem necessary or proper for the government of the fair grounds . . . ." Minn Stat. § 37.16 (1980). Under this authority, the Society promulgated Minnesota State Fair Rule 6.05 which provides in relevant part that
As Rule 6.05 is construed and applied by the Society, "all persons, groups or firms which desire to sell, exhibit or distribute materials during the annual State Fair must do so only from fixed locations on the fairgrounds."
One day prior to the opening of the 1977 Minnesota State Fair, respondents International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. (ISKCON), an international religious society espousing the views of the Krishna religion, and Joseph Beca, head of the Minneapolis ISKCON temple, filed suit against numerous state officials seeking a declaration that Rule 6.05, both on its face and as applied, violated respondents' rights under the First Amendment, and seeking injunctive relief
On appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed, holding that Rule 6.05, as applied to respondents, unconstitutionally restricted the Krishnas' religious practice of Sankirtan. 299 N.W.2d 79 (1980). The court rejected the Society's proffered justifications for the Rule as inadequate to warrant the restriction. Furthermore, the application of Rule 6.05 to ISKCON was not essential to the furtherance of the State's interests in that those interests could be served by means less restrictive of respondents' First Amendment rights. We granted the state officials' petition for writ of certiorari in light of the important constitutional issues presented and the conflicting results reached in similar cases in various lower courts.
The State does not dispute that the oral and written dissemination of the Krishnas' religious views and doctrines is protected by the First Amendment. See Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 147, 160, 162-164 (1939); Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444, 452 (1938). Nor does it claim that this protection is lost because the written materials sought to be distributed are sold rather than given away or because contributions or gifts are solicited in the course of propagating the faith. Our cases indicate as much. Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 111 (1943); Schaumburg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 444 U.S. 620, 632 (1980). See Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940).
It is also common ground, however, that the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to communicate one's views at all times and places or in any manner that may be desired. Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39, 47-48 (1966); Poulos v. New Hampshire, 345 U.S. 395, 405 (1953); see Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 554 (1965). As the Minnesota Supreme Court recognized, the activities of ISKCON, like those of others protected by the First Amendment, are subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972); Adderley v. Florida, supra; Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77 (1949); Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569 (1941).
A major criterion for a valid time, place, and manner restriction is that the restriction "may not be based upon either the content or subject matter of speech." Consolidated Edison Co. v. Public Service Comm'n, supra, at 536.
Nor does Rule 6.05 suffer from the more covert forms of discrimination that may result when arbitrary discretion is vested in some governmental authority. The method of allocating space is a straightforward first-come, first-served system. The Rule is not open to the kind of arbitrary application that this Court has condemned as inherently inconsistent with a valid time, place, and manner regulation because such discretion has the potential for becoming a means of suppressing a particular point of view. See Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, 394 U.S. 147, 150-153 (1969); Cox v. Louisiana, supra, at 555-558; Staub v. City of Baxley, 355 U.S. 313, 321-325 (1958); Largent v. Texas, 318 U.S. 418 (1943); Cantwell v. Connecticut, supra, at 304; Schneider v. State, 308 U. S., at 164; Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496, 516 (1939).
A valid time, place, and manner regulation must also "serve a significant governmental interest." Virginia Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, supra, at 771. See Grayned v. City of Rockford, supra, at 108. Here, the principal justification asserted by the State in support of Rule 6.05 is the need to maintain the orderly movement of
The fairgrounds comprise a relatively small area of 125 acres, the bulk of which is covered by permanent buildings, temporary structures, parking lots, and connecting thorough-fares. There were some 1,400 exhibitors and concessionaries renting space for the 1977 and 1978 Fairs, chiefly in permanent and temporary buildings. The Fair is designed to exhibit to the public an enormous variety of goods, services, entertainment, and other matters of interest. This is accomplished by confining individual exhibitors to fixed locations, with the public moving to and among the booths or other attractions, using streets and open spaces provided for that purpose. Because the Fair attracts large crowds, see supra, at 643, it is apparent that the State's interest in the orderly movement and control of such an assembly of persons is a substantial consideration.
As a general matter, it is clear that a State's interest in protecting the "safety and convenience" of persons using a public forum is a valid governmental objective. See Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U. S., at 115; Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U. S., at 574. Furthermore, consideration of a forum's special attributes is relevant to the constitutionality of a regulation since the significance of the governmental
The Minnesota Supreme Court recognized that the State's interest in the orderly movement of a large crowd and in avoiding congestion was substantial and that Rule 6.05 furthered that interest significantly.
As we see it, the Minnesota Supreme Court took too narrow a view of the State's interest in avoiding congestion and maintaining the orderly movement of fair patrons on the fairgrounds. The justification for the Rule should not be measured by the disorder that would result from granting an exemption solely to ISKCON. That organization and its ritual of Sankirtan have no special claim to First Amendment protection as compared to that of other religions who also distribute literature and solicit funds.
If Rule 6.05 is an invalid restriction on the activities of ISKCON, it is no more valid with respect to the other social, political, or charitable organizations that have rented booths at the Fair and confined their distribution, sale, and fund solicitation to those locations. Nor would it be valid with respect to other organizations that did not rent booths, either because they were unavailable due to a lack of space or because they chose to avoid the expense involved, but that would in all probability appear in the fairgrounds to distribute, sell, and solicit if they could freely do so. The question would also inevitably arise as to what extent the First Amendment also gives commercial organizations a right to move among the crowd to distribute information about or to sell their wares as respondents claim they may do.
ISKCON desires to proselytize at the fair because it believes it can successfully communicate and raise funds. In its view, this can be done only by intercepting fair patrons as they move about, and if success is achieved, stopping them momentarily or for longer periods as money is given or exchanged for literature. This consequence would be multiplied many times over if Rule 6.05 could not be applied to confine such transactions by ISKCON and others to fixed locations. Indeed, the court below agreed that without Rule 6.05 there would be widespread disorder at the fairgrounds. The court also recognized that some disorder would inevitably result from exempting the Krishnas from the Rule. Obviously, there would be a much larger threat to the State's interest in crowd control if all other religious, nonreligious, and noncommercial organizations could likewise move freely about the fairgrounds distributing and selling literature and soliciting funds at will.
For similar reasons, we cannot agree with the Minnesota Supreme Court that Rule 6.05 is an unnecessary regulation because the State could avoid the threat to its interest posed by ISKCON by less restrictive means, such as penalizing disorder or disruption, limiting the number of solicitors, or putting more narrowly drawn restrictions on the location and movement of ISKCON's representatives. As we have indicated, the inquiry must involve not only ISKCON, but also all other organizations that would be entitled to distribute, sell, or solicit if the booth rule may not be enforced with respect to ISKCON. Looked at in this way, it is quite improbable that the alternative means suggested by the Minnesota Supreme Court would deal adequately with the problems posed by the much larger number of distributors and solicitors that would be present on the fairgrounds if the judgment below were affirmed.
For Rule 6.05 to be valid as a place and manner restriction, it must also be sufficiently clear that alternative forums for the expression of respondents' protected speech exist despite the effects of the Rule. Rule 6.05 is not vulnerable on this ground. First, the Rule does not prevent ISKCON from
JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL and JUSTICE STEVENS join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
As the Court recognizes, the issue in this case is whether Minnesota State Fair Rule 6.05 constitutes a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction on respondents' exercise of protected First Amendment rights. See Schad v. Mount Ephraim, ante, at 74-76; Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 115-116 (1972). In deciding this issue, the Court considers, inter alia, whether the regulation serves a significant governmental interest and whether that interest can be served by a less intrusive restriction. See ante, at 649-650, 654. The Court errs, however, in failing to apply its analysis separately to each of the protected First Amendment activities restricted by Rule 6.05. Thus, the Court fails to recognize that some of the State's restrictions may be reasonable while others may not.
Rule 6.05 restricts three types of protected First Amendment activity: distribution of literature, sale of literature, and solicitation of funds. See Schaumburg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 444 U.S. 620, 632, 633 (1980); Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 108 (1943); Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413, 416 (1943); Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 147, 160 (1939); Lovell v. Griffin, 303 U.S. 444, 452 (1938). No individual or group is permitted to engage in these activities at the Minnesota State Fair except from preassigned, rented booth locations. Violation of this Rule constitutes a misdemeanor, and violators are subject to arrest and expulsion from the fairgrounds.
The State advances three justifications for its booth Rule. The justification relied upon by the Court today is the State's
I quite agree with the Court that the State has a significant interest in maintaining crowd control on its fairgrounds. See Grayned v. City of Rockford, supra, at 115-116; Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569, 574 (1941). I also have no doubt that the State has a significant interest in protecting its fairgoers from fraudulent or deceptive solicitation practices. See Schaumburg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, supra, at 636; Virginia Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748, 771-772 (1976). Indeed, because I believe on this record that this latter interest is substantially furthered by a Rule that restricts sales and solicitation activities to fixed booth locations, where the State will have the greatest opportunity to police and prevent possible deceptive practices, I would hold that Rule 6.05's restriction on those particular forms of First Amendment expression is justified as an antifraud measure. Accordingly, I join the judgment of the Court insofar as it upholds Rule 6.05's restriction on sales and solicitations. However, because I believe that the booth Rule is an overly intrusive means of achieving the State's interest in crowd control, and because I cannot accept the validity of the State's third asserted justification,
The Minnesota State Fair is an annual 12-day festival of people and ideas. Located on permanent fairgrounds comprising approximately 125 acres, the fair attracts an average of 115,000 visitors on weekdays and 160,000 on Saturdays and Sundays. Once the fairgoers pay their admission fees, they are permitted to roam the fairgrounds at will, visiting booths, meeting friends, or just milling about. Significantly, each and every fairgoer, whether political candidate, concerned citizen, or member of a religious group, is free to give speeches, engage in face-to-face advocacy, campaign, or proselytize. No restrictions are placed on any fairgoer's right to speak at any time, at any place, or to any person.
Because of Rule 6.05, however, as soon as a proselytizing member of ISKCON hands out a free copy of the Bhagavad-Gita to an interested listener, or a political candidate distributes his campaign brochure to a potential voter, he becomes subject to arrest and removal from the fairgrounds. This constitutes a significant restriction on First Amendment rights. By prohibiting distribution of literature outside the booths, the fair officials sharply limit the number of fairgoers to whom the proselytizers and candidates can communicate their messages. Only if a fairgoer affirmatively seeks out such information by approaching a booth does Rule 6.05 fully permit potential communicators to exercise their First Amendment rights.
In support of the crowd control justification,
See also Brief for Petitioners 31.
But petitioners have failed to provide any support for these assertions. They have made no showing that relaxation of the booth Rule would create additional disorder in a fair that is already characterized by the robust and unrestrained participation of hundreds of thousands of wandering fairgoers. See International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Barber, 650 F.2d 430, 444, n. 22 (CA2 1981). If fairgoers can make speeches, engage in face-to-face proselytizing, and buttonhole prospective supporters, they can surely distribute literature to members of their audience without significantly adding to the State's asserted crowd control problem. Cf. Martin v. Struthers, 319 U.S. 141, 151 (1943) (Murphy, J., concurring) (invalidating ordinance that banned house-to-house distribution of handbills but did not ban house-to-house proselytizing). The record is devoid of any evidence that the 125-acre fairgrounds could not accommodate peripatetic distributors of literature just as easily as it now accommodates peripatetic speechmakers and proselytizers.
Accord, Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U. S., at 116-117.
Because I believe that the State could have drafted a more narrowly drawn restriction on the right to distribute literature without undermining its interest in maintaining crowd control on the fairgrounds, I would affirm that part of the judgment below that strikes down Rule 6.05 as it applies to distribution of literature.
JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
For the reasons stated by JUSTICE BRENNAN, I believe that Minnesota State Fair Rule 6.05 is unconstitutional as applied to the distribution of literature.
In Schaumburg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 444 U.S. 620, 636-637 (1980), the Court stressed that a community's interest in preventing fraudulent solicitations must be met by narrowly drawn regulations that do not unnecessarily interfere with First Amendment freedoms. It there held that possibility of fraud in "door-to-door" or "on-street" solicitations could be countered "by measures less intrusive than a direct prohibition on solicitation," such as disclosure provisions and penal laws prohibiting fraudulent misrepresentations. Id., at 637-638. I see no reason why the same considerations are not applicable here. There is nothing in this record to suggest that it is more difficult to police fairgrounds for fraudulent solicitations than it is to police an entire community's streets; just as fraudulent solicitors may "melt into a crowd" at the fair, so also may door-to-door solicitors quickly move on after consummating several transactions in a particular neighborhood. Indeed, since respondents have offered to wear identifying tags, see App. A-6, and since the fairgrounds are an enclosed area, it is at least arguable that it is easier to police the fairgrounds than a community's streets.
Nonetheless, I believe that the State's substantial interest in maintaining crowd control and safety on the fairgrounds does justify Rule 6.05's restriction on solicitation and sales activities not conducted from a booth. As the Court points out, ante, at 651, "[t]he flow of the crowd and demands of
Having chosen to discuss it, however, the Court does so in a manner that is seemingly inconsistent with prior case law. The parties have stipulated that members of ISKCON have a unique "duty to perform a religious ritual known as Sankirtan, which consists of going out into public places, to disseminate or sell religious literature and to solicit contributions to support the publishing, religious, and educational functions of Krishna Consciousness." App. A-32. The Court, however, disparages the significance of this ritual, stating without explanation or supporting authority: "[ISKCON] and its ritual of Sankirtan have no special claim to First Amendment protection as compared to that of other religions who also distribute literature and solicit funds. None of our cases suggest that the inclusion of peripatetic solicitation as part of a church ritual entitles church members to solicitation rights in a public forum superior to those of members of other religious groups that raise money but do not purport to ritualize the process." Ante, at 652 (footnote omitted).
Our cases are clear that governmental regulations which interfere with the exercise of specific religious beliefs or principles should be scrutinized with particular care. See, e. g., Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 402-403 (1963). As we stated in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 220 (1972), "there are areas of conduct protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and thus beyond the power of the State to control, even under regulations of general applicability." I read the Court as accepting these precedents, and merely holding that even if Sankirtan is "conduct protected by the Free Exercise Clause," it is entitled to no greater protection than other forms of expression protected by the First Amendment that are burdened to the same extent by Rule 6.05.
"2. On numerous occasions when I entered the [1977 Minnesota State Fair], the individual taking tickets would give to me a flier which stated that fairgoers might be approached by roving solicitors, that the fair neither licensed nor sanctioned them, and that complaints against them could be filed with the fair administration. On several occasions, I also noted individuals who appeared to be state fair employees handing out similar fliers at information booths and concession areas. On several occasions, I also noticed that individuals, who appeared to be state fair employees, would begin to distribute similar fliers to fairgoers in areas where I or my fellow ISKCON members were proselytizing or distributing literature." App. A-40 (emphasis added).
See also Affidavit of Joseph Beca, id., at A-38; Affidavit of David C. Ewert, id., at A-43. It is hard to believe the State is seriously concerned about the effects of leafletting, when apparently it too engages in such activity at the State Fair.
"ISKCON, while unwilling to confine its religious activities to a booth, has indicated its willingness to submit to the regulation of its members in their circulation throughout the fairgrounds to proselytize, distribute and sell literature, and solicit contributions." Id., at A-36.
In addition, paragraph 11 of respondents' complaint states:
"ISKCON's devotees have tried to allay any fears Defendants might have that their religious activity might be disruptive to normal Fair activities by offering to wear identifying name tags at all times, to limit the number of devotees at the State Fair Grounds, to approach only consenting patrons, to refrain from engaging Fair patrons in conversation near entrances or exits to buildings or exhibits or in areas where there are lines or queues, and to identify themselves to Fair officials, including police officials." Id., at A-6.
See also Tr. of Oral Arg. 30, 34-35.
"The state's interest can be adequately served by means less restrictive of First Amendment rights. Conduct that tends to create disorder on the fairgrounds may be specifically prohibited." 299 N.W.2d 79, 84 (1980).