- Mall aboard: Future requires evolution at West Park Mall (3/24/17)20
- Legal discrimination complaint, ethics complaint filed in Scott City government (3/22/17)13
- Business notebook: Cape native goes from farm to mobile-food operation (3/20/17)1
- Former Scott City administrator: 'I was forced to resign' (3/21/17)6
- Former Southeast softball coach sues Board of Regents; seeks damages and her job back (3/23/17)14
- Triplett manslaughter case set for July 2018 (3/21/17)2
- Two people found dead in Advance house fire (3/21/17)
- Two local lawmakers back charter school bill; Perryville lawmaker objects to measure (3/19/17)24
- Two Cape men charged with second-degree murder of Grandi (3/21/17)2
- Lawmakers put prevailing wage in crosshairs; laborers object (2/12/17)10
30-year-old ban ends at Capitol
WASHINGTON -- A federal court upheld the right to free speech by striking down a 30-year-old ban on demonstrations on the sidewalk by the east steps of the Capitol.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday that maintaining a forum for public expression outweighed security concerns.
The decision was a victory for Robert Lederman, an artist, who stood in the no-demonstration zone in 1997 and held a sign that said, "Stop Arresting Artists." Capitol Police officers, ignoring the sign, arrested him. Lederman challenged the constitutionality of the ban.
The appeals court panel rejected the argument that demonstrators pose a greater security risk than pedestrians, who come and go anonymously, travel in groups, carry bags and boxes and linger as long as they please.
"If people entering and leaving the Capitol can avoid running headlong into tourists, joggers, dogs and strollers -- which the government apparently concedes -- then we assume they are also capable of circumnavigating the occasional protester," the court said.