Late last month, a federal court found that a group of animal rights activists was entitled to a preliminary injunction relating to the group’s protest activities outside of Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Protesters outside of the Barnum and Bailey Circus in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Source: ACLU of Pennsylvania.

The arena in question is owned by a public convention center authority but is operated by a private management company, SMG.  In 2008, SMG promulgated a protest policy that required protestors to remain located in a parking area outside of the arena.  The protest policy limited protestors’ ability to approach attendees at public events and to distribute literature.  In March 2016, SMG revised the protest policy to allow two designated protest areas of approximately 500 to 700 square feet, and located closer to the entrance gates of the arena.  The plaintiffs, including Silvie Pomicter and Last Chance for Animals sought to protest outside of the arena during the Barnum and Bailey Circus, which took place at the arena between April 28 and May 1.
Continue Reading Preliminary Injunction Granted to Animal Rights Activists in Pennsylvania Convention Center Case

Last week, in a case we previously covered here, a federal district court in Colorado considered whether plaintiffs have standing to seek permanent injunctive relief when the defendant has stipulated that it has no intention of enforcing a restriction on expressive conduct.

In Verlo v. City and County of Denver, plaintiffs desired to distribute leaflets regarding jury nullification in the plaza outside of Denver’s Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse.  However, the Colorado Second Judicial District, which operates in the courthouse, issued an order essentially prohibiting all expressive activities in the courthouse plaza.  The City and County of Denver, the entity responsible for enforcing the order, stipulated that it would not do so.  Furthermore, the city stipulated that it would not interfere with plaintiffs’ peaceful distribution of leaflets in the plaza.  Notwithstanding the stipulation, plaintiffs sued the city and the Colorado Second Judicial District, claiming that the order was an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights.  In an earlier decision, the federal district court granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, barring enforcement of the order.
Continue Reading Denver Courthouse Case Continued: Plaintiffs Lack Standing

Protesters outside a New Hampshire reproductive health clinic. Source:

Last week, a federal district court judge in New Hampshire ruled that a group of protesters lacked standing to challenge a state law prohibiting them from entering within a 25-foot radius of the entrance to an abortion clinic. The law, which was similar to a Massachusetts law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 2014, stated that “[n]o person shall knowingly enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility within a radius up to 25 feet of any portion of an entrance, exit, or driveway of a reproductive health care facility.”  The law also required clinics to “clearly demarcate” the buffer zone.
Continue Reading Abortion Protesters Lack Standing to Challenge New Hampshire Law