Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Rules Limiting Area Around State Fair Where Preacher Can Speak Upheld

In Powell v. Noble, (SD IA, Aug. 5, 2014), an Iowa federal district court in a 40-page opinion refused to issue a preliminary injunction in a Christian preacher's challenge to rules barring his proselytizing in areas around the Iowa State Fair where he might impede traffic flow. The court held preliminarily that the entire Fairgrounds are a limited public forum, at least  during the days the Fair is held.  Restrictions on activities that could impede traffic flow are reasonable. However the court did enjoin defendants from arresting plaintiff (or threatening arrest) solely for protected speech in locations where Defendants conceded there was not interference with traffic flow. Des Moines Register reports on the decision.