Strange Bedfellows: ACLU & Tea Party

REDDING, Calif. (CN) – The ACLU and the Tea Party sued the City of Redding, challenging its policy limiting leaflet distribution and other speech in a library plaza and parking lot. The Tea Party objected, among other things, to being ordered to share a table with the Daughters of the American Revolution during Constitution Day.

     The groups filed separate, but similar, complaints, in Shasta County Court.
     The ACLU of Northern California claims the city policy interfered with its effort to alert the public to California Senate Bill 602, which would guarantee that state privacy laws apply to digital books, and the people who read them.
     The Bostonian Tea Party and the North State Tea Party Alliance say the city interfered with their effort to pass out pamphlets and educational material, which included “officially published works concerning the United States Constitution and its correct and incorrect interpretation over the years,” and “family constitution lessons”.
     The Tea Party claims the library’s outreach coordinator had the brass to tell its co-plaintiff member, Susan Prigmore, that “she was not permitted to display any books detailing the history of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin, and other Founding Fathers because they had ‘enough of their own books.'”
     Prigmore also objects that the head of the city’s community services department “insisted on ordering the DAR members to move from their location over to the NSTPA education table.” (Emphasis in original.) Prigmore, however, says she “stopped their move, insisting on the right of the DAR members to remain where they were.”
     Both plaintiffs say the city’s “Handbill Ordinance” is unconstitutional, and want it enjoined.

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