Friday, February 02, 2007

No More Graffiti. The New York Administrative Code, as of 2005, prohibits the sale of aerosol spray paint containers and broad tipped indelible markers to persons under 21 years of age. This provision was enacted to curtail the problem of graffiti vandalism. Some young artists brought an action to enjoin the enforcement of the statue, claiming that it violates their First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and violates the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection provision.

The District Court granted the motion for a preliminary injunction to the extent that the City could not enforce the ban against individuals over the age of 18. The City appealed, claiming that the Court erred in finding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits and that the plaintiffs would be irreparably harmed. On appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed.

While the Court was skeptical of any equal protection violation, it found that the District Court had not abused its discretion in issuing the injunction on First Amendment grounds.

The decision can be found here.

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