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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Federal Judge allows Andover Tea Party Constitution Day Event to proceed

After realizing the Andover (OH) Tea Party's Constitution Day event was not about serving "tea & cookies," the Andover Township Trustees tried goose-stepping on the 1st Amendment -- Judge Donald C. Nugent, a former Cuyahoga County Common Plea judge & a Democrat, would allow no such infringement.

From Fox News --

A federal judge on Wednesday overruled a small Ohio town that had blocked a local Tea Party group from holding a Constitution Day rally in the town's public square because it was deemed too political.

Judge Donald C. Nugent issued a temporary injunction against Andover Township until the merits of the case can be decided. That clears the way for the Andover Tea Party to commemorate Constitution Day in the town square on Friday.

The town trustees who tried to block the rally "need to learn the Constitution," Peg Slingluff, a local Tea Party organizer, told FoxNews.com.

"It's very ironic that an effort to celebrate the Constitution results in a violation of the Constitution," attorney Curt Hartman, part of the legal team representing the
group, added.

The three trustees initially agreed in May to allow the activists to hold their rally when they thought the fledging group was going to have a picnic, serving tea and cookies, Slingluff said. Then they rescinded the offer in July when they learned that the group was affiliated with the conservative grassroots movement that has taken the nation by storm in the last year and a half.

"Who's been living under a rock for the last 18 months that they don't know what the Tea Party is," said attorney Christopher Finney, another member of the group's legal team.

The trustees denied the group access to the park based on a township resolution that allows officials to determine public space usage "on a case by case basis" and to ban speech that they deem too "political."

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a nonpartisan law center in the state, filed a lawsuit in federal court, arguing the group's First Amendment rights were violated. More...

Judge Nugents respect for law is beyond reproach. In a 2007 ruling, regarding protesters at a military funeral of a fallen soldier, Judge Nugent upheld the law limiting protests at funerals.

For those interested in going to the event;

Celebrate the signing of the Constitution on Constitution Day. An evening of music and calebration with like minded people.

Date: 9/17/2010
Time: 6:00pm

Andover Public Square (Click here for map)
Intersection of Rt. 6 & Rt. 7

Andover, OH 44003

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