Federal Court: Airport Can't Ban Newspaper Boxes

march 15, 2010  04:10 pm
The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority is violating the First Amendment with its ban on news boxes at the public airport, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The decision affirms a lower court ruling in favor of four newspaper companies that sued the airport authority in 2004. Lawyers for the airport had argued the ban was reasonable, and that news boxes would pose security risks, impede passenger flow, degrade airport aesthetics and reduce airport authority revenue from shops inside that sold newspapers. But the Fourth Circuit panel says none of those arguments are strong enough to restrict the distribution. "The government interests asserted to justify the ban do not counterbalance its significant restriction on protected expression," the opinion reads.