Parade Permits Law and Legal Definition

Local ordinances governing the distribution of parade permits have been a flash point for free speech jurisprudence. For example, Minneapolis Ordinance (Chapter 447) states that no person shall engage in, participate in, aid, form or start any parade or race, unless a parade/race permit has been obtained from the Director of Public Works.

A few of Supreme Court cases have laid out the constitutional requirements that a parade-permit ordinance must satisfy:

Freedman v. Maryland: the burden of proving that permit should be denied must rest with state, and judicial review of denials must be available within a brief time period.

Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham: parade licensing must be governed by narrow and objective standards, not by whims of authorities.

Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement: authorities cannot charge more for permits to parades that might cause a disturbance; licensing must be content-neutral; licensing fees must be provided in statute and not assessed by choice of the administrator.