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Abstract

This Note explores the decline of People ex rel. Arcara in New York State jurisprudence over the last decade. It first describes traditional and contemporary methods of testing free expression infringements, including a discussion of federal minimum standards, and protection expansions implemented by the New York Court of Appeals. Next, it describes the effect of federal "secondary effects" jurisprudence upon the People ex rel. Arcara standard, and how that encounter skewed lower court application of that standard for all cases involving "content-neutral" infringement of protected speech. Finally, it examines the illogical consequences of the court of appeals' method of deciding expressive freedom cases, arguing that a substantial abatement effort, in the nature of sanctions, should be required to help insure the proper balance between community needs and protecting free expression. The Note concludes that such an approach is necessary in order to reestablish New York's high standard of expressive rights protection.

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