Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. City of Fort Lauderdale, No. 16-16808 (11th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eleventh Circuit held that the outdoor food sharing hosted by FLFNB, a non-profit organization, is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment, and therefore, the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Fort Lauderdale on FLFNB’s suit challenging an ordinance enacted by the City that restricted this food sharing.
In 2014, the City enacted an ordinance that restricted FLFNB’s weekly food sharing at a City public park. In its complaint, FLFNB argued that the ordinance, enacted in 2014, and a related park rule violated their First Amendment free speech and free association rights and were unconstitutionally vague. The district court disagreed, concluding that the outdoor food sharing was not constitutionally-protected expressive conduct and that the ordinance and park rule were not vague. The Supreme Court reversed after examining the nature of FLFNB’s food sharing activity, combined with the factual context and environment in which the activity was undertaken, holding that FLFNB engaged in a form of protected expression.