Shurtleff v. City of Boston, No. 20-1158 (1st Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Boston and the Commissioner of Boston's Property Management Department (collectively, the City) as to Plaintiffs' complaint that the City violated their constitutional rights by refusing to fly a Christian flag from a flagpole at Boston City Hall, holding that Plaintiffs' constitutional claims failed.
Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) Plaintiffs' argument that the City's permitting process for the raising of third-party flags vests in government officials unbridled discretion to approve and deny protected speech and thus imposes an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech was foreclosed by the government speech doctrine; and (2) Plaintiffs' remaining claims under the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause were without merit.