CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, April 8, 2016

Inazu on Unlawful Assembly

Inazu johnJohn D. Inazu (Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law) has posted Unlawful Assembly as Social Control (UCLA Law Review, Vol. 64, 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Recent public protests from Occupy to Ferguson have highlighted anew the offense of unlawful assembly. This Article advances the simple but important thesis that contemporary approaches to unlawful assembly cede too much discretion to law enforcement. Too many unlawful assembly provisions neglect important elements of earlier statutory formulations. They also ignore constitutional principles meant to constrain the scope and extent of discretionary enforcement of social control by public authorities. In doing so, they fall short of the aspirations of the First Amendment — stifling dissent, muting expression, and ultimately weakening the democratic experiment. We can do better. We can start by reclaiming a more measured approach to unlawful assembly that recognizes both constitutional and common sense limitations.

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