A federal judge has sided with an Occupy demonstrator who was kicked out of the state Capitol, telling the State Patrol not to issue any more no-trespass warnings at the Capitol or other government property.
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan issued a restraining order that will stand until a Jan. 5 hearing, saying:
The restrictions at issue involve the First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly; freedom of speech, and freedom of the press; there is no authority in statute or in the administrative code for this broad-based prior restraint; the restrictions are not reasonable as to time, place or manner, although they are content neutral; and the restrictions are not narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest.
Bryan said the State Patrol can’t issue the warnings, as it did to about 30 people on Nov. 28, and that the patrol can’t arrest people who were warned:
1. Defendants shall not personally, or allow others in their control, to issue Trespass Warnings banning individuals from the Capitol Campus and other government property.
2. Defendants shall not personally, or allow others in their control, to arrest individuals based solely on the violation of a Trespass Warning.
3. This Temporary Restraining Order shall remain in effect until the hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction, which is set for hearing on January 5, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
4. This order does not prohibit arrests for violations of the criminal laws.
The State Patrol says it’s still looking at what this means for its strategy.