- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Custom cuts: Local hairstylist provides free haircuts to special-needs children (6/26/17)3
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Marble Hill man accused of beating, kidnapping woman (6/27/17)
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)1
- Playing with fire (6/25/17)
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
- Business notebook: Man's cheesecake whim becomes a full-time vocation (6/26/17)
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.