free speech

Denham Springs
10:11 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit over Middle Finger Light Display

A lawsuit over a Denham Springs woman's light display, which extended a middle finger to her neighbors, has been settled.

Final dismissal documents were filed in federal court this week.

Sarah Childs said she put up the roof message in November because she believed a neighbor stole her dog. She said police threatened her with fines and arrest because of the lights. She and the ACLU of Louisiana sued the city, its mayor and police.

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Super Bowl XLVII
8:20 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

ACLU's Suit Over Super Bowl "Clean Zone" Settled

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans have agreed to a settlement resolving the group's lawsuit over the city's plans to enforce a "clean zone" where the use of banners, signs and flags would be restricted during Super Bowl week.

The agreement filed Monday would allow the city to enforce some limits on commercial activity in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods. The filing says the city can prohibit "off-site and mobile advertising," such as signs attached to a vehicle or worn by a person.

Super Bowl XLVII
5:55 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

ALCU Sues to Block Super Bowl "Clean Zone"

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is suing to block the city of New Orleans from maintaining a so-called "clean zone" where the use of banners, signs and flags will be restricted during Super Bowl festivities.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of an activist and a street preacher who claim the city's enforcement of a new ordinance and a code enforcement guide will trample on their free speech rights and limit their activities in the days leading up to the Feb. 3 game.

Latest News
6:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Woman Seeks to Keep Middle Finger Light Display

The holidays may be over, but a Denham Springs woman wants to keep her unusual light display on her roof, showing an extended middle finger to her neighbors.

A federal judge heard testimony Monday about whether Sarah Childs should be granted an injunction, barring the city of Denham Springs and police from requiring her to remove the display. The hearing will continue next week.

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Street Preaching
11:26 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Bourbon Street preaching limits blocked for now

A federal judge has set an Oct. 1 hearing for a city ordinance restricting religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

The Times-Picayune reports that U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon issued a temporary restraining order on Friday that blocks enforcement of the law for now.

Under the law, Christian evangelists were arrested earlier this month for preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, an annual celebration of gay culture.

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Street Preaching
4:17 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Pastor sues to block New Orleans street preaching limits

A street preacher is suing to block New Orleans city officials from enforcing an ordinance that restricts religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by New Orleans pastor Paul Gros claims the city's "aggressive solicitation" ordinance sets unconstitutional limits on free speech. Gros says a police officer threatened him with arrest in May while he was preaching on Bourbon Street with his wife, another pastor and a friend.

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Latest News
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Judge overturns Alexandria's fortunetelling ban

A federal judge has struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell's ruling Wednesday concurs with a magistrate's conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Rachel Adams is a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn't charge for her services. She sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500.

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