Focus of Trial:


First Amendment: Free Speech


Trial: Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 1989 (p. 25 in text)

You must copy the questions. Each answer must contain at least 3 sentences to receive credit. But questions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 must contain at least 5 sentences each.


1)      What was the city regulation that Rock Against Racism objected to? Explain


2)      Why did the rock group claim that this regulation went against the constitution? Explain


Look up this court case online.


3)      What arguments did Rock Against Racism use during the trial to support their position? Explain at least 3 points and 3 quotes.


4)      What arguments did Ward use to defend their position: 3 points and quotes also.


5)      Which side, in your opinion, had the more convincing argument? Explain


6)      Was the city’s attempt to regulate the sound volume a proper exercise of the government’s power to maintain order, or did it violate the First Amendment? Explain


7)      If city officials did not like the content of the messages in the songs, could they use the city regulation to control the content by lowering the volume so much that no one could hear? Explain


8)      The courts stated that governments may enforce regulations that incidentally  limit free speech if the regulation serves a legitimate government interest. Explain this and give an example


9)      What was the city’s purpose in creating this regulation? Could the city have achieved the same purpose in a less intrusive way?