Friday, December 27, 2019

Suit Filed Against Synagogue Picketers

A lawsuit was filed last week in a Michigan federal district court against protesters who, every Saturday for the last 16 years, have picketed an Ann Arbor synagogue with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish signs. The 85-page complaint (full text) in Gerber v. Herskovitz, (ED MI, filed 12/19/2019) contends in part:
The conduct of the protesters is infringing on the 1st Amendment right of the congregants to exercise their freedom of religion without being harassed and insulted by the protesters. The City, by its failure to enforce its own Code provisions to curtail the protesters' conduct, is aiding and abetting the protesters harassment of the congregants, thereby making the protesters state actors under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the protesters and the City co-conspirators under §§ 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985(3)....
The 1st Amendment right of free speech does not entitle a speaker to use that right repeatedly as a bludgeon, for weeks and years at a time, in the same location, rather than as a means of legitimate communication in an effort to convey information and persuade others to the speaker's point of view.
M Live reports on the lawsuit. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]