Freedom to Speak Out Made Illegal
- Leftist Loons in Campbell, Wisconsin are directly attacking the 1st Amendment rights of anti-Obama protesters to free speech. They’ve enacted a ban to prevent a Conservative group from gathering on a pedestrian bridge where the public would be able to see their message.
Two tea party protesters have sued the town of Campbell in federal court challenging an ordinance that prohibits signs on a pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of Greg Luce and Nicholas Newman, names the town as well as police Chief Tim Kelemen and Officer Nathan Casper.
The ordinance, passed in October, violates Luce and Newman’s rights to free speech and free assembly, their attorneys argue in the complaint. The plaintiffs also are seeking a temporary injunction to stop enforcement of the ordinance reports the La Crosse Tribune.
Tea party supporters first used the overpass on Aug. 6 as part of a national movement calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Citing public safety, the town board passed two ordinances banning the display of “signs, flags, banners, pennants, streamers, balloons” within 100 feet of the bridge.
Four protesters received $132.90 citations for holding flags and a large wooden cross on the overpass during a Dec. 8 protest.
According to the complaint, Luce took part in an Oct. 24 demonstration in which protesters wore T-shirts that together spelled “IMPEACH” on one side and “OBAMA” on the other. He left when threatened with citation by police.
Newman stood on the overpass three days later holding an American flag and was issued a ticket for violating the ordinance.
Erin Mersino, trial counsel for the nonprofit Thomas More Law Center, which supports “America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values,” said the ordinance in effect bans the expression of ideas in what would traditionally be a public forum — a sidewalk.
“It’s amazing that the government has overreached in this fashion,” she said.
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