political expression, although volunteers are admonished to portray their opinions as their own, and not as representative of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government's position. Nor does it prohibit public speech on political events made in the American press by a volunteer. These sorts of statements do not significantly interfere with the interest of the Peace Corps in staying out of the political sphere. It is only in situations such as this one, where there has been a direct threat to the interest of the Peace Corps, that speech is prohibited; thus, the policy is narrowly tailored to restrict speech no more than is necessary to protect a compelling government interest.
Wood has contended that the Peace Corps policy as written is unconstitutionally overbroad. While this Court finds that Wood has standing to make this challenge, it is one that this Court declines to reach on these facts and at this time. Even though impermissibly broadly worded laws "may deter protected speech to some unknown extent, there comes a point where that effect - at best a prediction -- cannot, with confidence, justify invalidating a statute on its face and so prohibiting a State from enforcing the statute against conduct that is admittedly within its power to proscribe." Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 615, 37 L. Ed. 2d 830, 93 S. Ct. 2908 (1973).
The Supreme Court has emphatically observed that "there must be a realistic danger that the statute itself will significantly compromise recognized First Amendment protections of parties not before the Court for it to be facially challenged on overbreadth grounds." City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, 104 S. Ct. 2118, 2125, 80 L. Ed. 2d 772 (1984). Moreover, a statute should not be deemed facially invalid unless it is not subject to a narrowing construction by the courts. Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205, 216, 45 L. Ed. 2d 125, 95 S. Ct. 2268 (1975); Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 613, 37 L. Ed. 2d 830, 93 S. Ct. 2908 (1973).
It is not apparent that Wood has made the necessary showing that the First Amendment rights of third parties not before the Court will be chilled in that those parties will refrain from constitutionally protected speech or expression due to the existence of the Peace Corps' political expression policy. Even assuming, arguendo, that he has, the Peace Corps policy is certainly capable of being construed in such a way as to render it constitutional. It is only in a situation such as the one presently before the Court, where there is evidence of a direct threat to the interest of the Peace Corps due to the expression of the volunteer on a matter related to the host country politics, that enforcement of the policy will be upheld. There is no evidence that the policy has ever been applied in any other context or will be.
In fact, the Peace Corps policy expressly allows a volunteer to express views on issues relating to the United States in the American press. The examples of expression suggested by plaintiff in their briefs, such statements opposing student loan cuts or welfare program changes, would be protected speech under this narrow construction of the policy.
The Peace Corps policy also expressly allows a volunteer to petition U.S. officials. Again, if this was done under circumstances, unlike those here, which did not result in direct harm to the Peace Corps' interests in remaining uninvolved in political events, it too would be protected speech. Although the portion of the Peace Corps' political expression policy challenged by Wood is very broadly worded, when read in the context of the entire Peace Corps policy contained in the Peace Corps Handbook, and especially in view of Peace Corps prescreening procedures for consulting with the Country Director on the applicability of these policies, it is unnecessary for this Court to strike down the challenged Peace Corps political expression policy on overbreadth grounds at this time.
ORDER AND JUDGMENT
Upon consideration of the Stipulated Facts, the trial memoranda, and the Memorandum Opinion constituting the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law, it is this 19th day of March, 1987,
ORDERED that judgment be, and hereby is, entered for defendants.
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