Our clients in this case were buskers (people who perform in public and seek gratuities) who wished to busk on the National Mall, where “solicitation” is prohibited. We think free speech does not lose its constitutional protection just because a speaker or musician seeks voluntary contributions, and in March 2010 we sent a legal memorandum to the National Park Service explaining our views.

After three years of negotiation, the agency finally issued regulations allowing individuals who obtain demonstration permits to solicit and receive gifts or donations within the area of their permits. Buskers are now able to obtain permits for their activities on the Mall.

Date filed

March 5, 2010