Supreme Court plaza policy challenged, again

Monday, June 19, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. Supreme CourtFree speech is constitutionally protected – but not at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Rutherford Institute has previously filed lawsuits on behalf of people who want to quietly demonstrate at the nation's highest court. Their latest filing was on behalf of two Christians who are against war and wanted to hold signs reflecting that view while on the huge Supreme Court plaza.

Institute founder John Whitehead tells OneNewsNow the lawsuit (Payden-Travers v. Talkin) was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but he adds that a federal judge dismissed the case.

"The Supreme Court had, in the past, basically passed a law saying that people can't be out there, backing up a 60-year-old law, which says – believe it or not – that it's unlawful to display any flag, banner, or device that portrays a message," Whitehead explains. "This means Girl Scouts wanting to sell cookies on the front of that large plaza could be run off."

According to Whitehead, the original purpose of the rule was to make sure justices aren't influenced by demonstrations, but he questions if any such influence could really happen now.

Whitehead, John (Rutherford Institute)"If you think about it," the attorney suggests, "the Supreme Court justices arrive in limousines through an underground entrance with guards around them. I doubt they ever even take a look out there [to the plaza]. They can on the surveillance cameras, but I don't think two peace activists are in any way going to sway a Supreme Court decision."

Finally, Whitehead says that according to federal law, "the government must have a compelling interest in order to violate free speech and the religious guarantees of the Constitution."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Should vaccination of children be decided by parents/guardians – or by government regulations?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Charges, insults fly after Trump aide assails congresswoman
Trump: Considering Powell and Taylor for Fed's top 2 posts
Suicide bombings in Afghanistan hit mosques, killing 63
Somalia's death toll now at 358 as 'state of war' planned
Sanders says Wilson is 'all hat, no cattle'
Senate GOP backs budget, clears way for tax overhaul
Poll:Vegas shooting doesn't change opinions on guns

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Bill O’Reilly accuses Rep Wilson of 'setting up' Trump in call to military widow
How many defectors escape NKorea and why don't we hear more from them?
Afghan troops going AWOL in U.S.
Media ignoring real Democratic scandals
Media, et al. attack Gen. Kelly - a Gold Star father - for defending Trump's call

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Rainbow flag OK, but national motto crosses the line

Houston police cruiser with rainbow decalsGovernment agencies, including police departments, have raised a question during "gay pride" month that a constitutional attorney suggests ought to be answered.