Feb 6, 2014

Scott Walker and Amen Corner Were Wrong, First Amendment Prevails in Wisconsin

Michael Crute was arrested on July 24, 2013
for “unlawful assembly.” Photo by Erica Case.
Update: From The Progressive: "In State of Wisconsin vs. John B. Bell, (Judge) Markson wrote: “I cannot ignore any party - much less the State's - altering a document filed with the court so that it is different from the one actually served upon the other party (targeted Wisconsin citizens opposing Scott Walker). That this is wrong requires no explanation."

Scott Walker's effort to halt speech based upon content, a fact ignored in local coverage, was struck down this week by Dane County (Wisconsin) Judge John Markson in two rulings.

"Defendants Michael Crute and John Bell, among others, had challenged the constitutionality of the emergency rules, arguing their First Amendment rights under the WI and US Constitutions were violated. Markson agreed in a written decision issued (this week)," report Joseph Skulan and Jason Huberty.

So-called "emergency rules" were instituted in Wisconsin state properties, including the state capitol building, to deter, harass and unlawfully arrest anti-Scott Walker political activity.

Markson’s ruling could set precedent that would lead to the dismissal of ~300 charges issued under Administrative Code 2.14(2)(vm)(5) for 'unlawful assembly' last summer.

Michael Crute and his attorney Jeff Scott Olson issued a press release. 'This is Scott Walker’s "Bridge-Gate"," said Michael Crute.

Attorney Jeff Scott Olson states, 'I look forward to seeking civil monetary remedy against the State on behalf of my clients Mr. Crute and Mr. Salvia, due to their unjust and unconstitutional prosecutions.'
The two rulings, Wisconsin v. Crute and Wisconsin v. Bell (via Isthmus), establish other facts not mentioned: Wisconsin Capitol Police lied repeatedly and Scott Walker and his administration lied repeatedly for the purpose of suppressing speech deemed hostile to Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans.

And it should be noted, many liberal commentators and Democratic officeholders also did nothing to stop repeated First Amendment violations, a fact hailed by writer Steven Carlson and former Mayor Madison David J. Cieslewicz (2003 to 2011), and local Madison broadcast 'news."

One ruling reads:

"The rule Mr. Crute (Wisconsin v. Crute) is charged with violating is not narrowly tailored to the legitimate governmental interests it seeks to promote," Markson concluded. "It is not a valid time, place, and manner requirement. It is unconstitutional on its face. The citation must be, and it hereby is, dismissed." (Davidoff. Isthmus)

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