ACLU claims civil liberties victory
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - February 10, 2002
The American Civil Liberties Union is claiming a "major victory" for free
speech rights after US District Judge G. Thomas Porteous "permanently
blocked" federal agents from banning masks, pacifiers, and glow sticks at a
New Orleans dance, "as part of its nationwide war against rave concerts".
Judge Porteous said that while there's a legitimate government interest in
curtailing illegal drug use, "the government cannot ban inherently legal
objects that are used in expressive communication because a few people use
the same legal item to enhance the effects of an illegal substance." He also
said, "there is no conclusive evidence that eliminating the banned items has
reduced the amount of ecstasy use at raves," and, "when the First Amendment
right of Free Speech is violated by the Government in the name of the War on
Drugs, and when that First Amendment violation is arguably not even helping
in the War on Drugs, it is the duty of the Courts to enjoin the government
from violating the rights of innocent people."
The ACLU filed a challenge to the policy in August 2001 after the Drug
Enforcement Agency instructed the owners of a prominent New Orleans dance
venue to ban face masks, glow sticks and pacifiers saying the items
constituted "drug paraphernalia."
Related News from Mi2N:
» Citing Free Speech Rights, LA Court Rejects Government's Extremist Tactics In Culture War Against Raves
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