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Preparing for Grocery Store Protests

MSK Client Alert
May 11, 2020

As Californians lose patience with the stay-at-home orders, we can expect more protests across the state.  And as customers face shortages and stores enforce limits on their purchases, protests at grocery stores may be particularly likely.  How can grocery stores protect themselves?

California’s Constitution grants broader free speech rights than the First Amendment.  Indeed, under certain circumstances – namely cases involving shopping malls – courts have held that California’s free speech right extends to private property where that property is the functional equivalent of a traditional public forum.  See Robbins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center, 23 Cal. 3d 899 (1979).

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