(CN) – New York City’s restrictions on parades allowed to march down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue do not restrict free speech, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
“There is nothing in the record to suggest that the city has banned new parades on Fifth Avenue because it is seeking to restrict speech relating to current events,” the New York-based court ruled.
The circuit upheld a lower court’s rule that found the so-called “Fifth Avenue rule,” a city policy that refuses to grant new parade requests down the famous avenue, doesn’t restrict free speech.
Antiwar group International Action Center sued New York City in 2005 after its permit to march down Fifth Avenue to commemorate the anniversary of the Iraq war was declined. The group claimed the policy discriminates against parades related to current events.
Fifth Avenue became a hot parade route after the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the mid 19th Century.
The city has since adopted its policy to refuse all new parade requests down the avenue.
Fifteen marches were grandfathered in, and include St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and the New York City Marathon, among others.
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