New York City has a policy of requiring that artists who sell their art on the street must have vending licenses. The city also limited the number of such licenses thereby prohibiting many artists from street sales, especially when one considers the number of other street vendors who need such licenses to work the New York streets. Any unlicensed artists could be arrested and their works cofiscated, auctioned off or destroyed.
The artists fought back and, in June of 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a U.S. District Court decision that the selling of visual art on the street is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment.
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copyright 1998 David M. Spatt, All rights reserved
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