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Shopping mall's speech restrictions torpedoed
Appeals court affirms right 'to engage in casual conversations'
A court decision written by a candidate for chief justice of the California Supreme Court has torpedoed rules established by a shopping mall to regulate casual conversations among customers.
The [mall's] rules treat all applicants for noncommercial expressive activity the same way, but the rules are not content neutral because they prohibit or restrict speech unrelated to the mall's interests while permitting speech that is related to the mall's interest. The rules are content based," said the opinion from Associate Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
Pacific Justice said that under the mall's rules, shoppers are not allowed to engage in conversations about potentially controversial topics such as religion or politics unless they already know the person they are talking to. Another mall rule bans the wearing of any clothing with religious or political messages