1992 ISKCON v Lee

ISKCON v. Lee

Public Forum:  ISKCON v. Lee, 106 HARV. L. REV. 279-89 (1992).

Abstract

This is a case comment, writen as a student, on the public forum case ISKCON v. Lee.

Whenever government attempts to regulate expressive activity on its property, two principles come into conflict: the traditional common-law notion that an owner has dominion over his property, and the First Amendment’s prohibition of laws that abridge the freedom of speech.  Modern public forum doctrine endeavors to accommodate these competing principles, and in International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Lee (ISKCON), the Court applied this doctrine to the problem of speech regulations in government-run airport terminals. The fragmented quilt of opinions generated reveals a rift between those Justices who in this case favor the government’s right to control its property and those who favor the right to expressive activity. What bridges this split is Justice O’Connor’s ambivalent concurrence, which leaves public forum doctrine in a delphic and precarious balance.