First Amendment Victory for South Carolina Pro-Lifers

free speech From a press release issued this morning by Columbia Christians for Life:

COLUMBIA, SC – In a victory for the free exercise of the God-given, Constitutionally-protected, unalienable rights of peaceable assembly, free speech, and freedom of religion, Christian Pro-Lifers have won a $51,000 settlement in a First Amendment case against the City of Florence, SC, in addition to declaratory and injunctive relief against the unconstitutional “Parade” permit requirement contained in the Florence City Ordinance on August 14, 2002. As ordered by the United States District Court for the District of SC (Florence Division): “IT IS on this 3rd day of March, 2006, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

  1. This Court hereby declares that the permit requirement set out in City of Florence Code, Article III, Parades § 19-40, et. seq., as it read on August 14, 2002, is unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  2. Defendants* named herein are permanently enjoined from enforcing and/or applying the permit requirement set out in City of Florence Code, Article III, Parades § 19-40, et. seq., as it read on August 14, 2002, to the expressive activities of Plaintiffs Steve Lefemine, Beverly Murch, Linda Beckman, Randall Beckman, Dave Lytle, Jeanette Lytle, Jim Shirmer, and Dennis Green on public streets, sidewalks or ways in Florence, South Carolina.” [Dave Lytle, 86, died June 2005] * Defendants: City of Florence, and Chief of Police for City of Florence

The plaintiffs received a total of $16,000 in compensatory damages, and defendants paid attorney fees and expenses of $35,000 for plaintiffs’ attorney. We praise and thank the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) for this outcome. He is King of kings and Lord of lords of all men and all nations for all time (1 Tim. 6:15).

Ah, yes, the wide-reaching “parade permit requirement” — the ignorant bureaucrat’s best friend. One would think that municipal attorneys — who presumably get paid, in part, for their advice on how their local governments can avoid getting sued — would know better before they allow citizens’ free speech rights to be stifled through such ridiculous measures.

Other News

In a related story, a pro-life student group at Arizona State University recently sued the school, arguing that its members’ constitutional rights were violated:

In court papers filed in Arizona District Court on July 21, ASU Students for Life alleges unprecedented fees and space restrictions were placed on them in arranging two campaigns on campus – stripping them of basic free speech and due process rights.

Read more here.

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