Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Court stops Chicago from restricting free speech in Millennium Park
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Court stops Chicago from restricting free speech in Millennium Park

Friday, Feb 21, 2020

* Press release…

In a win for the First Amendment right to circulate petitions, a federal judge has struck down the City of Chicago’s restrictive rules that did not allow First Amendment activities in Millennium Park, including circulating referendum petitions and outdoor evangelizing. The case stemmed in part from petition passers being harassed by security while collecting signatures for a referendum to term limit the Mayor of Chicago between 2016 and 2018.

Judge John Robert Blakey of the Northern District of Illinois found that Millennium Park’s rules unconstitutionally limit the free-speech rights of petition passers and those wishing to evangelize and distribute religious literature. The Court further found that the rules were unconstitutionally vague and were being enforced arbitrarily and “in a discriminatory manner,” including based on the identity of the speaker.

In his opinion, Judge Blakey stated that if the City of Chicago’s arguments in favor of the rules were to stand, “any park with a statue could lose its First Amendment protections.” The judge wrote, “The law precludes this absurd result.”

Attorneys Pat Quinn, former Governor of Illinois, and Ed Mullen represented petition passers Elizabeth Norden, Tyler Brumfield, Doris Davenport, and William Morgan in the case of Swart et al v. City of Chicago. They joined students from Wheaton College, represented by the firm Mauck & Baker, who were told they could not evangelize and hand out religious literature in Millennium Park.

Norden, Brumfield, Davenport, and Morgan testified that they were harassed and intimidated by Millennium Park personnel on the Great Lawn of the park, asked to leave the park, and threatened with arrest while circulating petitions for a term limit referendum on Chicago’s mayor.

The ruling is here

This Court’s analysis of the other preliminary injunction factors requires little discussion. In First Amendment cases, the likelihood of success is dispositive because the loss of First Amendment freedoms—even for minimal periods of time— constitutes an irreparable injury, and protecting First Amendment freedoms always serves the public interest.

A status hearing has been set for March 4th.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Oak Parker - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    Great job by Governor Quinn


  2. - Jocko - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:33 am:

    Someone needs to tell Quinn that one person’s ‘gadfly’ is another person’s ‘nuisance’.


  3. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    == Great job by Governor Quinn==

    Yeah, until the militia nuts and nazis and antifa all show up to duke it out down on the lakefront. Or the tourists start getting harassed every ten feet by moonies and hari krishnas and some clown wanting their signature on a petition to run for alderman. Quinn was never the best at considering the long-term consequences of his actions


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    The ruling is correct legally, but as a practical matter cause for many visitors to heave a sigh of frustration.


  5. - Humboldt - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    Ha! The only place I’ve seen Governor Quinn in person following his time in office he was literally collecting petition signatures on the Millennium Park Great Lawn. Good job on this one.


  6. - Commisar Gritty - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    What is Chicago politics without scared, entry-level 20 somethings, fresh out of college, timidly asking strangers for signatures on a nominating petition?

    Also shout outs to the local party people that stand there with like 6 different people’s sheets.


  7. - Commisar Gritty - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    Also Buckingham Fountain? Great spot if there is no residency requirement. You want those local signatures, you go to Daley Plaza.


  8. - Oak Parker - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Don Harmon’s crew of circulators is one reason he was able to build goodwill with his colleagues over the years that led to him being elected Senate President.


  9. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    - The ruling is correct legally, but as a practical matter cause for many visitors to heave a sigh of frustration. -

    Well, we certainly wouldn’t want a minor right such as free speech to cause anyone the unspeakable burden of saying “No thanks.”


  10. - Oak Parker - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    Political & religious speech is the most protected free speech and there is nowhere more public than a public park, so I don’t know why the city thought this would fly. A law student with one semester of constitutional law could have told them this wouldn’t hold up.


  11. - lakeside - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    ==the unspeakable burden of saying “No thanks.”==

    I can’t believe this was even a case. You are in public, in a public park, paid for by the public (somewhat). It’s ok to interact with people and for people to interact with you.


  12. - Frank talks - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    What a week Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich victorious at the same time? Smells like November’02 all over again.


  13. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    ==the unspeakable burden of saying “No thanks.”==

    ….says the guy who has never been chased down the street by a clipboard-waving Pat Quinn


  14. - Moist von Lipwig - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    Great job by Pat Quinn and Ed Mullen and the attorneys at Mauck & Baker, protecting our constitutional rights.


  15. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    ==A law student with one semester of constitutional law could have told them this wouldn’t hold up.==

    Doesn’t even take a 1L: “…they [parks] have immemorially been held in trust for the of the public and, time out of mid, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thought between citizens, and discussing public questions. Such use of the streets and public places has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens. The privilege of a citizen of the United States to use the streets and parks for communication of view on national questions may be regulated in the interest of all; it is not absolute, but relative and must be exercised in subordination to the general comfort and convenience, and in consonance with peace and good order, but it must not, in the guise of regulation, be abridged or denied.”
    Justice Roberts, Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496 (1939)


  16. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Sheesh Lester’s, if you don’t run he won’t chase you.


  17. - Anon E Moose - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    I’ll be there to remind these kids that there is no God and that their beliefs are harmful.


  18. - Leatherneck - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Sheesh Lester’s, if you don’t run he won’t chase you.

    ———

    But instead of chasing you, he instead might unleash Squeezy upon you.


  19. - Bourbon Street - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    Now that the federal district court has entered a preliminary injunction, it will be interesting to see what evidence is adduced between now and the trial date. In other words, we’ll get to see the effect of the lifting of the City’s restrictions before the case goes to trial.

    On a personal note, if I see Pat Quinn in Millennium Park on my next visit, I’m heading for the hills.


  20. - Anon - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 3:18 pm:

    Great job to Ed Mullen, who I suspect carried most of the heavy lifting here.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Everyone has their own priorities
* There's a simple explanation for this
* 1,287 new cases, 73 additional deaths
* Pritzker says one of his office employees has tested positive - Largest single-day death toll so far - 3680 hospital patients yesterday - "43% of our total hospital beds are available and 35% of our ICU beds are available" - Non-COVID hospital visits drop due to stay at home order - Usage trend up 8 percentage points for ICU beds and 5 points for ventilators in a week - Some Chicago-area ICU units "near max capacity" - Peoria and Edwardsville see available ICU beds dropping - New cases in 23 more counties in last week alone - Thanks Gov. Newsome for 100 ventilators - Placed orders for 3620 more ventilators - 25 percent reduction in detained juvenile population - No "regular close contact" with infected staffer - Pritzker not tested - Won't comment about report of 12,000 body bags ordered - State and locals checking records for missed COVID-19 deaths - Not encouraging arrests - No special policing orders issued - Asked about regrets - Responds to Rep. Wilhour - No plan for regional stand down of order - Responds to Trump's latest claim - Addresses EO on prisoner release
* Where does Illinois rank in comparison?
* Question of the day
* Credit Unions Throughout Illinois Offering Modifications To Existing Loans
* Dr. Pliura goes to court
* NRCC escalates rhetoric against Casten, calling him "an asset for China’s Communist Party"
* What's up with this new EO?
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Playing a belated game of catch-up
* ACLU urges police restraint
* Rep. Wilhour wants "discussion" about herd immunity
* To Flowbee or not to Flowbee
* The numbers behind the bickering
* Good news, bad news
* Open thread
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller