PJI wins free speech case for street evangelist

Thursday, May 13, 2021
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with U.S. flagA court has ruled in favor of a Seattle street evangelist and his First Amendment right to free speech.

Matthew Meinecke, who is well-known in the downtown area for his street preaching, faced an anti-harassment order filed by the manager of a business.

Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute says the anti-harassment order blocked the street preacher from speaking in public forums in the downtown area.

“A local t-shirt shop owner decided that this was causing him to be angry and upset and disturbed," Dacus tells One News Now, “and so [Meinecke] was silenced from being able to preach the gospel there."

PJI attorney Tracy Tribbett represented the street evangelist in King County Court, where he argued the restraining order violated legal precedent. The attorney pointed out the U.S. Constitution protects Meinecke’s free speech and, even more, the state constitution affords even stronger protections for its citizens.

In a ruling, the judge found no evidence to support the allegations and rescinded the restraining order, according to PJI. 

"The freedoms afforded citizens under the First Amendment and the Washington Constitution have been upheld, and justice prevailed," Tribbett said after the court ruling.

According to Dacus, anti-free speech “assaults” on street preaching have become more common and PJI is always ready to defend their rights, he says.

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