Continuing our fight for the freedom of speech. “Federal Court Hearing Scheduled in AFLC”s Challenge to D.C. Transit Authority”s Refusal to Run Anti-Jihad Advertisement,” from the American Freedom Law Center, September 24:
U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer has scheduled a hearing for October 4, 2012 on the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC)”s request for an injunction to halt the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)”s censorship of a pro-Israel/anti-jihad bus advertisement. The hearing will take place at 2:00 p.m. EDT in Courtroom 8 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia located at 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The hearing is open to the media and the general public.
At issue in the lawsuit is the WMATA”s decision to delay running a pro-Israel/anti-jihad advertisement on its Metro system until some unknown “future date” due to alleged concerns about “the situations happening around the world” and the “security and safety” of its passengers. The WMATA”s decision was based upon current events in which Muslims are engaging in violent jihad in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in an alleged protest of free speech in the United States that is critical of Islam. As a result of the WMATA”s censorship of core political speech, AFLC filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the sponsors of the advertisement, the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI) and its executive directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The lawsuit challenges the WMATA”s unconstitutional restriction on FDI”s right to engage in protected speech in a public forum.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented: “This lawsuit represents a clash between our American values and the fundamental right to freedom of speech on the one hand and those values espoused by sharia-adherent Muslims who want to suppress speech through violence on the other. In direct contravention of our Constitution, the WMATA is siding with the jihadists and silencing our clients” political speech. This is known as a “˜heckler’s veto,” which is impermissible under the First Amendment.”
The planned advertisement states, “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” …