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The Festival of Noses

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The Ninth Circuit en banc has struck down the City of Seattle's attempts to restrain obnoxious street performers from hassling people (including each other) at the Seattle Center. The case is Berger v. City of Seattle, No. 05-35752. Chief Judge Kozinski dissents in his characteristic style with a hypothetical:

Mr. Nez, who lives in Pasadena, wants to hold a parade celebrating the Festival of Noses. And he wants to follow the route that is followed every year by another parade with a very similar name --starting north on Orange Grove Avenue near California, then turning east on Colorado for about 5 miles. Unfortunately for Mr. Nez, no one else shares his enthusiasm, so he decides to hold a one-man parade, carrying a giant paper mache replica of Jimmy Durante's head. Having read the majority's opinion, he believes that he needs no parade permit since he is, after all, a single performer. So, about 9 a.m. on January 2, he dons a top hat and tails, holds high the effigy of The Schnozz and starts walking north on Orange Grove straddling the double yellow line. My guess is that the Pasadena police would pick him up and give him a jaywalking ticket (or worse) long before he got to Colorado. His First Amendment defense would get about as far as his parade.

This one is certworthy, Seattle. Go for it.

1 Comment

Best line of Kozinski's dissent:

"No rules written by man can withstand such persnickety scrutiny."

That quote encapsulates a lot of what is wrong with our judiciary today.

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