Court Shoots Down Library’s Restrictions on Constitution Day

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Redding, CA—In a 45-page ruling, the Third Appellate District Court of Appeals of the state of California affirmed a lower court’s decision that the City of Redding had violated free speech rights in prohibiting the sharing of literature in the outdoor area surrounding a local library.

 
During Constitution Day activities in 2010, a dispute arose between a Redding library manager and a Constitutional advocate over free speech activities on library grounds. The dispute led the city to adopt a new policy restricting activities outside of the library—including the free distribution of the Constitution and other similar literature.

 
Pacific Justice Institute affiliate attorney Timothy Pappas filed suit against the city and a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of PJI.

 

The judge ruled that the new policy—in addition to a prior city code—violated free speech rights, and that the outside portion of a library constitute a public forum.

“This entire ordeal began on Constitution day, and it’s the Constitution that has vindicated the public against these faulty laws,” said PJI President, Brad Dacus. “Shouldn’t libraries be in support of sharing ideas,” Dacus questioned.

The City of Redding is not expected to appeal the case.

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