ACLU wins case challenging RNC restrictions

A US District judge has agreed with the Ohio chapter of the ACLU that the restrictions on demonstrations imposed by the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention beginning July 18 (that I wrote about here) are too restrictive.

Among other things, the judge said that the size of the designated event zone where the restrictions apply was too large and the parade route and times were such that the delegates would be very unlikely to encounter them and thus breached the First Amendment rights of the demonstrators.

Interestingly, the huge parade and celebration that occurred on Wednesday for the Cleveland Cavaliers that covered roughly the same area that the convention will occupy, and which took place with little incident despite the massive crowd of over one million people who attended, undercut the city’s argument that they had to drastically limit the demonstration area for the purposes of security and to allow emergency vehicles to get through.

The city had initially indicated that it would appeal the ruling but because so little time is left before the event, the judge has urged both sides to arrive at a compromise and handed the case off to another district judge to handle the negotiations.

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