Ann Arbor, Michigan (AP) — A federal court sued Wednesday that provocative pro-Palestinian protests outside the Jewish synagogue in Michigan were protected by Article 1 of the Constitution Amendment.
The court refused to cancel or set restrictions on the demonstrations in Ann Arbor. Protests have been held weekly since 2003, with people displaying signs that “Jewish power will collapse,” “stop funding Israel,” and “end the Holocaust in Palestine.”
Members of the Beth Israel Synagogue, including some Holocaust survivors, said the protests interfered with their Saturday worship and caused emotional distress.
“But the congregation does not claim that the protesters blocked their use of the synagogue, or that the protests were heard even from inside the building,” said Judge Jeffrey Sutton.
He said the proposed remedy (1,000-foot (305-meter) cushioning and sign limits) was likely to violate the First Amendment.
“A major obstacle is the strong protection that the First Amendment provides against nonviolent protests of public concern,” Sutton summed up the case.
He was joined by Judge David McKeig. Judge Eric Cray agreed with the result, but for different reasons.
The American Civil Liberties Union has submitted a brief document to support activists, stating that protests are entitled to protection even if they are “aggressive, upset, and offensive.”
“If civil servants and courts have the discretion to curb disliked speech, no one really enjoys freedom of speech,” said ACLU’s Dan Kolobkin.
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Courts Do Not Stop Protests Outside Michigan Synagogue | Nationwide
Source link Courts Do Not Stop Protests Outside Michigan Synagogue | Nationwide