Court Says Mall Can’t Stop Boycott-Urging Protestors

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A panel of judges in the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld a California Supreme Court ruling that a privately owned shopping mall cannot stop protestors from urging shoppers to boycott stores in the mall.

     Members of a union representing pressroom employees at The San Diego Union-Tribune won their free-speech case in the state Supreme Court, which acknowledged their free-speech right to distribute leaflets in Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. To gain negotiation power, union members had called on customers to stop patronizing one of the newspaper’s advertisers.
     Mall owners then argued that they have the constitutional right to ban boycott-encouraging protestors from their property. It admits, however, that it failed to raise the constitutional argument until it petitioned the court for a rehearing.
     In a four-page ruling, the appeals court said it has “no doubt” that Fashion Valley Mall forfeited its constitutional argument by not raising it sooner.

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