Washington D.C., Dec 9, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Pro-life demonstrators, who were arrested at a Kansas City intersection in June 2001 because of the complaints of passers-by that their graphic signs of an aborted unborn child were offensive, are hoping, after losing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Kansas City police in a district court and then an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that their First Amendment complaint will be heard by the Supreme Court.
In an interview with CNS News, Francis J. Manion, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who represent the demonstrators, said that "this is an important case involving the constitutional rights of those who oppose abortion to be able to speak out freely without being punished."
According to the ACLJ the 8th Circuit ruling contradicts precedents set by First Amendment rulings by the Supreme Court which protect offensive speech.
Manion said that the cops allowed the demonstrators to stay “if they put the offensive signs” away, even though the entire demonstration was legitimate: "What you had was the cops deciding, just at the behest of random passersby, what could or could not be said or displayed on that street corner. And that's clearly unconstitutional," he said.