Law To Restrict Protest and Disruption During Supreme Court Proceedings is Upheld
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday to restrict disruption during the Supreme Court proceedings. Judges unanimously upheld the law to forbid demonstration on ground of the higher court.
The ruling was decided by three panel judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday, March 3, Washington Post reported. Judges upheld the decision for the second time after a group of protesters made an appeal.
During the 2010 trial of the Citizen United v. FCC, protesters disrupted the proceedings inside the court room. The security took seven protesters off the court room. The protester then filed complaint to the court demanding the First Amendment right to protest the 1949 Federal Statute that forbid demonstration in the Supreme Court and its plaza.
U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper ruled last year in favor of the protesters. He said that the language used in the 1949 Federal Statue statute about harangues and oratory was unconstitutionally vague.
However, the Fiday ruling has firmly declared that harangue, oration and other form of disruption is forbidden in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals used the illustration from the movie “My Cousin Vinny” to explain the language in the law is clear, Arizona Daily Star reported.
Different incident occurred in 2011 when Harold Hodge from Southern Maryland protested in the Supreme Court plaza wearing the big sign protesting the police treatment on Hispanic and African American people. Hodge was arrested in January 2011.
Hodge then filed a lawsuit to challenge the restriction, based on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. U.S. District Judge for the for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell challenged the restriction in 2013.
However, the Court of Appeals ruling on Friday stated that the lower court is wrong to cast doubt on the 1949 Federal Statutes. Therefore the ruling by both Judge Cooper and Judge Howell was deemed invalid.
Watch the incident in the Supreme Court as seven protesters from Citizen United disrupted the proceedings below: