Monday, August 16, 2010

Suit Challenges Library Meeting Room Rules

Last week, Ilene Vick, author of the book Personality Based Evangelism, filed a federal lawsuit against the Putnam County, Tennessee Library challenging its rules on use of its meeting rooms. The complaint (full text) in Vick v. Putnam County, (MD TN, filed 8/12/2010), alleges that plaintiff was denied use of the Library's meeting room to hold a small group discussion on the ideas in her book. Library rules an use of meeting rooms for "social, political, partisan or religious purposes." The lawsuit claims that the policy infringes plaintiff's free speech rights, as well as her due process and equal protection rights. It claims tat the policy is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, and discriminates on the basis of the content of speech and the viewpoint of the speaker. Alliance Defense Fund issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.