carafem Joins ACLU in Lawsuit Against DC Metro Over First Amendment Violations
10 August, 2017, 06:43
In a statement, a spokesperson for the transit authority said, "In 2015, WMATA's Board of Directors changed its advertising forum to a nonpublic forum and adopted commercial advertising guidelines that prohibit issue-oriented ads, including political, religious and advocacy ads".
Notices for Yiannopoulos's book were posted and remained up in New York's and Chicago's transit systems, both of which have rules against overtly political advertising. "I'm glad that the ACLU has chose to stop aiding the spread of sharia law and their usual wrongheaded social-justice crusades to tackle a real civil rights issue", he writes on Facebook.
Metro pulled down advertisements for Yiannopoulos's self-published book unsafe on July 7 after complaints from riders who objected to the former Breitbart writer's history of outlandish attacks of Islam, feminism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and individuals like the actress Leslie Jones. The ads featured a photo of the author's face alongside quotes from journalists. "I'm joined in this lawsuit by fellow plaintiffs including pharmaceutical villains and vitamin-deficient vegans, but I'm no stranger to odd bedfellows".
The ACLU, Carafem - a nonprofit that provides abortion services - and PETA are also plaintiffs in the suit. Strong opponents keep us honest.
But the ads were removed by the WMATA after 10 days because of complaints from people who thought he specifically should not be able to advertise.
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The lawsuit, filed today by the ACLU of the District of Columbia and Virginia, argues that parts of the agency's ad policies violate the First Amendment by discriminating against particular ads and advertisers deemed controversial by WMATA officials.
As the plaintiffs hold differences in opinion on many major issues outside of this case, their merger highlights the concerns of people on various sides of the political spectrum when it comes to the First Amendment. The WMATA issued a complete refund for the ad and refuses to put it back up. "The ACLU could not more strongly disagree with the values that Milo Yiannopoulos espouses, but we can't allow the government to pick and choose which viewpoints are acceptable".
Alexander Macris, CEO of MILO, Inc. "But together, they powerfully illustrate the indivisibility of the First Amendment", the ACLU said in a blog post Wednesday. Our advertisements were apolitical and completely uncontroversial; we were advertising a book launch!
The Metro made its advertising policy more stringent in May 2015.
"The First Amendment protects everybody and if it doesn't protect you, then sooner or later it's not going to protect me either", Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the ACLU-DC and lead counsel in the case told IJR, noting the broad range of ideologies represented in the case. They don't believe any government agency should restrict fre speech, even if people find the messages (or messengers) abhorrent.
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The Patriots coach said how Wilfork was never afraid to bring anything up with him during captains meetings. Vince Wilfork's National Football League career is in the books, ending where it first began 13 years ago.
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