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Nine amicus briefs have been filed in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kevin Hicks. Following are summaries of the points raised in them. • The federal government claims that Hicks was “not engaged in expressive activity” when he was cited for violating the trespass policy. • The city of Richmond and the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority argue that the trespass policy at the Whitcomb Court housing project is permissible because it restricts conduct, not speech. • The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers argue that if Richmond wants to make the streets and sidewalks within Whitcomb Court private property, then it must alter the “form and function” of them. • The National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of Counties argue that Hicks should not be allowed a First Amendment claim because his actions did not fall within the “zones of interests” of protected expression. • The Richmond Tenants Organization, the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents, Everywhere and Now Public Housing Residents Organizing Nationally Together, and the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants claim that the Richmond trespass policy violates the rights of the poor to “associate with and invite others into their homes.” • Fifteen states, including Florida, Ohio, and Texas, say an invalidation of the trespass policy on First Amendment grounds could make “government-owned property less safe for residents and for the public.” • The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc. claims that trespassing policies like the one at Whitcomb Court “embolden public housing managers to act as censorial gatekeepers,” preventing Jehovah’s Witnesses from spreading their religious message. • The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a Sacramento-based public interest group, argues that even if the streets and sidewalks in Whitcomb Court are deemed public property, the trespass policy should remain in effect in other areas of the project that remain private property. • The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression says barring access to the streets and sidewalks of Whitcomb Court may “severely curtail the ability of residents to receive vital information.” — Tom Schoenberg

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