Colorado Transit Authority Reverses Unconstitutional Restriction on Speech

Posted by Guest Writer on January 23, 2014 under How | Be the First to Comment

Pueblo, CO—Liberty Counsel successfully defended the First Amendment rights of a Pueblo, Colorado, citizen who regularly engages in street witnessing at Pueblo Transit Center bus terminal and its surrounding sidewalks. A transit director suddenly prohibited the one-to-one conversations and Gospel tract distribution, citing a city code prohibiting throwing of handbills or literature on the ground in public places.

“A policy forbidding literature distribution and conversation with others inside the bus terminal is unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Liberty Counsel told the transit authority.

When the transit director proposed limiting Mr. Phillips’ free speech during peak hours, Liberty Counsel collected data on the number of people in the terminal during these hours and found this restriction unreasonable and unconstitutional. After additional negotiations, the City of Pueblo agreed to revise its policy and permit protected First Amendment activity within and around the bus terminal, with only the reasonable requirements of not blocking doors, impeding traffic, or asking for money.

“Liberty Counsel is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to spread the Gospel and live out their faith,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The government cannot censor speech solely because public officials disagree with the message. We are pleased that the City of Pueblo revised its policy to protect free speech,” concluded Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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