For many years, New York City has had to deal with the vandalism and defacement of public property caused by unauthorized graffiti. In an effort to stop the damage, the city banned the sale of aerosol spray- paint cans and broad- tipped indelible markers to persons under twenty- one years of age. The new rules also prohibited people from possessing these items on property other than their own. Within a year, five people under age twenty- one were cited for violations of these regulations, and 871 individuals were arrested for actually making graffiti. Lindsey Vincenty and other artists wished to create graffiti on legal surfaces, such as canvas, wood, and clothing. Unable to buy her supplies in the city or to carry them in the city if she bought them elsewhere, Vincenty and others filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other young artists against Michael Bloomberg, the city’s mayor, and others. The plaintiffs claimed that, among other things, the new rules violated their right to freedom of speech.
(a) One group will argue in favor of the plaintiffs and pro-vide several reasons why the court should hold that the city’s new rules violate the plaintiffs’ freedom of speech.
(b) Another group will develop a counterargument that outlines the reasons why the new rules do not violate free speech rights.
(c) A third group will argue that the city’s ban violates the equal protection clause because it applies only to persons under age twenty- one.