City of Dallas v. Stanglin/Concurrence Stevens
Justice STEVENS, with whom Justice BLACKMUN joins, concurring in the judgment.
In my opinion the opportunity to make friends and enjoy the company of other people-in a dance hall or elsewhere-is an aspect of liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. For that reason, I believe the critical issue in this case involves substantive due process rather than the First Amendment right of association. Nonetheless, I agree with the Court that the city has adequately justified the ordinance's modest impairment of the liberty of teenagers. Indeed, I suspect that the ordinance actually gives teenagers greater opportunity to associate than they would have if the Class E dance-hall provision were invalidated.[*] I therefore join the Court's judgment.
^* I do not join the Court's assessment of this case under the Equal Protection Clause. Although the equal protection issue received nominal attention in the trial court, see Pet. for Cert. C-1 to C-7, it was neither reviewed by the Texas Court of Appeals nor briefed before us. See 744 S.W.2d 165 (1987); Pet. for Cert. 3; Brief for Petitioners 4.