Granite City, Ill. Ordinance Restricting Distribution of Pro-Life Handbills Found Unconstitutional
-- From "U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds First-Amendment Right to Distribute Religious Materials" posted at Christian Newswire 8/8/08
On Thursday, August 7, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago handed down a decision upholding a federal trial court ruling that an ordinance in Granite City, Ill., regulating the manner in which individuals could distribute religious and other types of handbills was unconstitutional.
By 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel upheld an earlier decision by Federal District Judge Michael Reagan, sitting in East St. Louis. Reagan had ruled that the city violated the First Amendment when it prosecuted Donald Horina, a retired teacher and "born-again" Christian from St. Charles, Mo., for distributing pro-life literature and Gospel tracts near the Hope Clinic for Women, an outpatient surgical treatment center that provides abortions, and in other locations in Granite City.
In July 2003, Horina had placed his literature on windshields of cars parked near Hope Clinic, and was cited for violating the city ordinance prohibiting the "indiscriminate" distribution of "cards, circulars, handbills, samples of merchandise or any advertising matter whatsoever on any public street or sidewalk."
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