Tuesday, November 17, 2009

COAST v. City of Cincinnati in Federal Court Today

Council allows pro-tax rallies,
but not those advocating limited government

COAST attorneys will appear before the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, November 17 to defend the Preliminary Injunction it received nearly a year ago requiring City officials to provide equal access to certain spaces within City Hall for press conferences and rallies promoting limited government.

In February of 2008, Cincinnatians Active to Support Education and 60 other individuals and organizaitons rallied inside City Hall to support a massive tax increase for Cincinnati Public Schools. Only months later, COASTer Mark Miller requested that the City allow a rally in that exact location for organizations supporting the ballot issue promoting a ban on red light cameras and proportional representation, and he was denied such access.

"The City grants or denies access for press conferences and rallies based upon the viewpoint of the speaker," said Chris Finney, lead counsel for COAST in the litigation. "That is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. Judge Barrett properly enjoined the City from continuing such unconstitutional practices, and we are proud to defend that victory for common sense, fairness, equaity and the Constitution in the Court of Appeals."

COAST challenged the discriminatory policies of the City in federal court. In that action, Federal District Court Judge Michael Barrett issued a preliminary injunction against that City policy, finding that it violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. The City has appealed that decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, one step beneath the US Supreme Court.

The oral argument is scheduled for 9 AM Tuesday at:
United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
6th floor-West Courtroom
Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

In 2008, COAST and its partners in the WeDemandAVote.Com coalition collected 15,000 signatures to place before City voters a ban on red light and speeding cameras. The WeDemandAVote.Com coalition members are the NAACP, COAST, the Libertarian Party of Ohio and the Green Party of Southwest Ohio.

Despite organized opposition from the Democrat Party, Mayor Mallory and a host of big-givernment advocates, and despite the discrimination COAST and the WeDemand Coalition faced in achieving access to the interior spaces of City Hall, voters enacted the ban, the first in the nation. Since then, voters nationwide have adopted such prohibitions.

COAST frequently brings suit to fight for access to governmental forums on equal footing with pro-tax forces, including suing Sheriff Leis in 2007 over the Super-Sized jail tax, suing Cincinnati Public Schools over abuse of school yards for political signs, and suing the Fairfield City Schools for sending home pro-levy flyers with school children.

"Some day, politicians and bureaucrats will learn," said Finney, "that they cannot abuse the power of their office to advance their big-government agenda. COAST stands firm in stopping these particularly pernicious practices."


  1. I think it is really funny when groups that are decidedly against relying on the government, sue, and in turn rely on government bureacracies to make things fair. It's kind of ironic.

  2. Yup. Just like when they complain about tax dollars being used for transportation, then drive their cars on federally funded highways using subsidized gasoline.

  3. You're right, nobody should ever question government ever, especially if you've driven an automobile. Morons.

  4. Bim Turke,
    I guess the only irony you get is name spoonerism. Well, I guess mou is the yoron.

  5. Bim Turke is Jeff Capell

  6. Anonymous 5:38 is Caleb Faux. I have proof.


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