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Old 09-14-2013, 05:02 AM
sandcrabnews sandcrabnews is offline
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Default FLOWER v. UNITED STATES, 407 U.S. 197 (1972)

Decided June 12, 1972

Application of 18 U.S.C. 1382, proscribing the re-entry onto a military post of a person who has been removed therefrom or ordered by an officer not to re-enter, held violative of First Amendment rights as applied when petitioner, a civilian who had previously been barred from the post was arrested after re-entry while quietly distributing leaflets on a public street extensively used by civilians as well as military personnel that runs through Fort Sam Houston, an open military post.

Certiorari granted; 452 F.2d 80, reversed and remanded.


Petitioner John Thomas Flower, a regional "Peace Education Secretary" of the American Friends Service Committee and a civilian, was arrested by military police while quietly distributing leaflets on New Braunfels Avenue at a point within the limits of Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. In an ensuing prosecution before the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on charges of violating 18 U.S.C. 1382 ("Whoever reenters or is found [within a military post] after having been removed therefrom or ordered not to reenter by any officer or person in command or charge thereof - Shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both"), it was established that petitioner had previously been barred from the post by order of the deputy commander because of alleged participation in an attempt to distribute "unauthorized" leaflets. The District Court found that 1382 "is a valid law" and was validly applied. It sentenced petitioner to six months in prison. A divided [407 U.S. 197, 198] panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. 452 F.2d 80 (CA5 1972).

We reverse. Whatever power the authorities may have to restrict general access to a military facility, see Cafeteria & Restaurant Workers v. McElroy, 367 U.S. 886 (1961), here the fort commander chose ...
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