Tag Archives: Law

Pro-immigrant activists with Occupy Denver file suit against DIA and DPD, challenge airport free speech “permit”


DENVER, COLORADO- Civil liberties champion David Lane has filed a complaint in US district court challenging Denver’s office of the city attorney for instituting a permit process at DIA to prevent public protest. Holding signs has become impermissible at the airport, without the issuance of a permit seven days in advnace, although police are not bothering themselves about signs welcoming homecomers or seeking to connect business visitors with their limo service. That selective enforcement is unconstitutional of course, and the lawfirm powerhouse of Kilmer Lane & Newman is filing suit on behalf of two Occupy Denver plaintiffs. last Sunday, January 29, both were threatened with arrest by DIA police. While two earlier attempts to assemble had capitulated to DPD intimidation, the Occupy Denver activists stood their ground. Why did you file your lawsuit? “We know our rights. We want the POLICE to know our rights.”

1. Full text of complaint:

Case 1:17-cv-00332 Document 1
Filed 02/06/17 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 14

Civil Action No.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

NAZLI MCDONNELL,
ERIC VERLO,

Plaintiffs, vs.

CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER,?
DENVER POLICE COMMANDER ANTONIO LOPEZ, in his individual and official capacity,
DENVER POLICE SERGEANT VIRGINIA QUINONES, in her individual and official capacity,

Defendants.

______________________________________________________________________________

COMPLAINT

______________________________________________________________________________

Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys David A. Lane and Andy McNulty of KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, allege as follows:

INTRODUCTION

1. Plaintiffs Eric Verlo and Nazli McDonnell challenge a regulation of alarming breadth that bans all First Amendment expression at Denver International Airport without a permit.

2. Plaintiffs are concerned citizens who believe that President Donald Trump has overstepped his executive authority by signing the January 27, 2017, Executive Order (hereinafter “Muslim Ban”), which permanently bans Syrian refugees from emigrating to the United States, temporarily bans nationals of seven countries (including permanent legal residents and visa-holders), and suspends all applications to the United States refugee program (even as to vetted entrants currently in transit).

3. Plaintiffs wish to express their disgust with President Trump’s (likely unconstitutional) Muslim Ban. They wish to do so in the same place that hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country have done: standing directly outside of the secure Customs and Border Protection (hereinafter “CBP”) screening area within an airport where immigrants to America enter into the main terminal after clearing customs. Plaintiffs, unlike many citizens across this great nation who have exercised their opposition to the Muslim Ban in airports by chanting, singing, dancing, and praying, simply wish to stand in silent protest, holding signs that express their solidarity with immigrants and the Muslim community.

4. Plaintiffs are banned from doing so by DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50 (hereinafter “Regulation 50”).

5. Regulation 50 states: “No person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit for such activity issued by the CEO or his or her designee.” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.03. In order to obtain a permit, an individual must “complete a permit application and submit it during regular business hours, at least seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the activity for which the permit is sought[.]” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.04-1.

6. Plaintiffs ask that this Court enjoin the enforcement of Regulation 50 and prohibit Defendants from arresting them for their First Amendment-protected activity of standing in peaceful protest within Jeppesen Terminal. Regulation 50 is overbroad in violation of the First Amendment and vague in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

7. This is a civil rights action for declaratory and injunctive relief as well as fees and costs arising under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988 and 28 U.S.C. Section 2201 et seq. due to Defendants’ current and imminent violations of Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

PARTIES

8. Plaintiff Eric Verlo is a citizen of the United States of America. Mr. Verlo wishes to show his resistance to President Trump’s Muslim Ban, so that others will be inspired to join in the resistance.

9. Plaintiff Nazli McDonnell is a citizen of the United States of America. Ms. McDonnell wishes to show her resistance to President Trump’s Muslim Ban, so that others will be inspired to join in the resistance.

10. Defendant City and County of Denver is a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Colorado. Thus, it is an entity subject to the provisions of § 1983.

11. Defendant Antonio Lopez is a Commander with the Denver Police Department. Commander Lopez is responsible for security at Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal.

12. Defendant Virginia Quinones is a Sergeant with the Denver Police Department. Sergeant Quinones is responsible for security at Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

13. Plaintiffs bring this claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, incorporated as against States and their municipal divisions through the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

14. This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 over Plaintiffs’ claims that “arise[] under the Constitution of the United States.”

FACTS

15. On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, which permanently banned Syrian refugees from emigrating to the United States, temporarily banned nationals of seven countries (including permanent legal residents and visa-holders), and suspended all applications to the United States refugee program (even as to vetted entrants currently in transit). President Trump’s Executive Order has been subsequently referred to as a “Muslim Ban,” because it both mirrors President Trump’s racist, anti-Islam statements made on December 7, 2015, that he was planning to ban all Muslims from entering the United States until our representatives can “figure out what’s going on” and the ban targets countries whose population is predominantly Muslim and seemingly bears little rational relation to each country’s security threat to the United States.

16. Immediately upon the enactment of President Trump’s Muslim Ban there was an outpouring of outrage from a large proportion of the American population and across the spectrum of political affiliation. This outrage led to resistance in the form of protests.

17. On January 28, 2017, and January 29, 2017, protests erupted in nearly every major city in the United States. The protests organically formed in our nation’s airports. Protesters chose to express their disgust with President Trump’s Muslim Ban in airports (and specifically outside of the secure CBP screening area) because individuals affected by the ban who were in transit to the United States were being held and questioned by CBP agents there. Many of these travelers, including lawful United States residents, were forced to sign documents revoking their lawful status within the United States and deported. Still others were simply deported with no explanation. Others still were held for hours as teams of lawyers rushed to prepare habeas petitions for their release.

18. News reports about the protests make clear that they have been peaceful and non- disruptive despite the gathering of, in some cases, thousands of people.

19. Airport staff have told protesters, and would-be protesters, at numerous airports across the nation, including Kansas City International Airport, that there are no restrictions on their speech and that all protesters who wish to participate in actions against the Muslim Ban are allowed. Protests have continued in other cities to this day.

20. On January 28, 2017, there was one such protest at Denver International Airport, within the Jeppesen Terminal. At approximately 5:00 p.m. hundreds gathered in the Jeppesen Terminal’s atrium, near arrivals, to protest and many others gathered to bear witness.

21. Prior to the protest, leaders had applied for a permit. It was denied. The reason for its denial was that the permit was not requested with seven days advance notice of the protest occurring. Regulation 50 requires seven days advance notice.

22. The January 28, 2017, protest began with speeches, chants, songs, and prayers. It was a peaceful gathering of solidarity for immigrants and Muslims. Every person at the January 28, 2017, protest was contained in an area of the Jeppesen Terminal atrium that is designed as a gathering space for people to sit, relax, and converse. No one was standing in the walkways or passageways of the terminal.

23. Soon after the January 28, 2017, protest began, members of the Denver Police Department arrived on-scene. Commander Antonio Lopez engaged the leader of the protest, Amal Kassir, along with State Representative Joe Salazar and representatives from the ACLU of Colorado, and informed them that the protest was unlawful. Commander Lopez told Ms. Kassir that anything that “could be construed as Free Speech” was prohibited at the Denver International Airport, including within the Jeppesen Terminal, without a permit. See Exhibit 1, January 28, 2017 Video.

24. Commander Lopez also stated that all “First Amendment expression” was prohibited at the Denver International Airport, including within the Jeppesen Terminal, without a permit on Regulation 50. Commander Lopez handed Regulation 50 to multiple protesters, including Ms. Kassir. See Exhibit 2, January 28, 2017 Video 2.

25. Regulation 50 states (in pertinent part): “No person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit for such activity issued by the CEO or his or her designee.” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.03. In order to obtain a permit, an individual must “complete a permit application and submit it during regular business hours, at least seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the activity for which the permit is sought[.]” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.04-1.

26. Commander Lopez, along with members of Denver International Security, told Ms. Kassir that every portion of Denver International Airport property, which has an approximately fifty square mile footprint, is off-limits for First Amendment expression. They suggested that Ms. Kassir move her protest to Tower Road, which is approximately six miles from the Jeppesen Terminal and, like most of the land surrounding Denver International Airport, adjacent to open prairie land with no inhabitants.

27. Commander Lopez threatened Ms. Kassir and numerous other demonstrators with arrest if they didn’t immediately cease any “First Amendment expression.” According to Commander Lopez’s directives, the individuals gathered in the Jeppesen Terminal could not stand holding signs, sing, speak to others about matters of public concern, hold the United States Constitution above their shoulders, or stand silently with their arms interlocked.

28. Ultimately, to avoid arrest, Ms. Kassir and the demonstrators moved outside of the Jeppesen Terminal to the large area on its south side, adjacent to the escalators leading to the commuter rail and under the Westin Hotel. The protest continued peacefully for a little while longer, then disbursed without issue.

29. The next day, January 29, 2017, Plaintiffs Eric Verlo and Nazli McDonnell traveled to Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal to express their opposition to President Trump’s Muslim Ban.

30. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell brought with them signs expressing support for immigrants and expressing concern that history was repeating itself with disastrous potential consequences.

31. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell positioned themselves adjacent to the secure CBP screening area within the Jeppesen Terminal at approximately 1:15 p.m.

32. Adjacent the secure CBP screening area at the Jeppesen Terminal is the only place where Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell can reach their intended audience. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell wish to communicate with those who could be swayed by their message and, particularly, with immigrants. International travelers are often immigrants and/or lawful United States residents, including green card and other visa holders, other than citizens. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell wish to express their solidarity with immigrants directly to these individuals. Further, United States citizens who arrive from international locations are also individuals with whom Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell wish to communicate. International travelers have experienced other cultures and are likely to be sympathetic to Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonell’s message.

33. The secure CBP screening area is also the location where the Muslim Ban has been enforced by DHS, both at Denver International Airport and across the nation. Neither Plaintiff attempted to enter any restricted areas of Denver International Airport.

34. While silently displaying their signs, Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell were in the open plaza near the secure CBP screening area within the Jeppesen Terminal and positioned significantly behind the railing, which demarcates where those waiting for loved ones are permitted to stand. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell did not impede the right of way of any passengers hustling to catch flights at the last moment. They simply stood with placards showing their distaste for the Executive Order and the man who executed it.

35. Mr. Verlo and Mr. McDonnell also observed another man in the terminal, named Gene Wells, who was expressing views similar to theirs.

36. Mr. Wells was wearing a sign taped to the back of his shirt.

37. Mr. Wells left the Jeppesen Terminal, but subsequently returned to protest. When he did, he was stopped by Denver Police Department officers who told him that he could not walk around the terminal with the slogan he had affixed to his back. Mr. Wells eventually rejoined Mr. Verlo and Mr. McDonnell at the international arrivals doors, but not without trepidation. He feared he might be arrested.

38. While Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell were displaying their signs, Defendant Sergeant Virginia Quinones approached Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell and threatened them with arrest if they did not leave Jeppesen Terminal. See Exhibit 3, January 29, 2017, Video.

39. Sergeant Quinones handed Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell Regulation 50 and cited it as the reason they would be arrested if they did not leave Jeppesen Terminal. Id. Sergeant Quinones told Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell that they would need a permit in order to stand silently, holding signs in opposition of the Muslim Ban and be in compliance with Regulation 50.

40. Had Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell applied for a permit the second President Trump signed the Executive Order implementing the Muslim Ban, they still would have been unable to engage in protest within the Jeppesen Terminal under the terms and conditions of Regulation 50 on January 29, 2017.

41. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell did not immediately leave the Jeppesen Terminal after being threatened with arrest. However, they were startled by Sergeant Quiones’ threat and feared arrest for the duration of the time they were there.

42. Throughout the time Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell were expressing their views within the Jeppesen Terminal they received numerous shows of support from passersby. Multiple self- proclaimed Muslims expressed heart-felt statements of appreciation to Mr. Verlo, Ms. McDonnell, and others holding signs.

43. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell ultimately left Jeppesen Terminal.

44. Mr. Verlo and Ms. McDonnell wish to return to Jeppesen Terminal to express solidarity with Muslims and opposition to the Muslim Ban, but are reticent to do so for fear of being arrested.

45. Upon information and belief, no individual has been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for wearing a “Make America Great Again” campaign hat without a permit within the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport.

46. Upon information and belief, no individual has been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for holding a sign welcoming home a member of our military without a permit within the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport.

47. Upon information and belief, no individual has been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for holding a sign and soliciting passengers for a limousine without a permit within the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport.

48. Upon information and belief, no individual has been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for discussing current affairs with another person without a permit within the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport.

49. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendants acted under color of law.

CLAIM I: FIRST AMENDMENT
(§ 1983 violation – all Defendants)

50. Plaintiffs repeat, re-allege, and incorporate by reference the allegations in the foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint as fully set forth herein.

51. Regulation 50 violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, on its face and as applied, because it impermissibly curtails Plaintiffs’ free-speech rights.

52. Plaintiffs wish to speak on a matter of public concern. 11

53. Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal is a public forum.

54. Regulation 50 directly infringes upon and chills reasonable persons from engaging in activity that is protected by the First Amendment.

55. Regulation 50 acts as an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech because it (1) requires a permit before allowing individuals to engage in speech, (2) allows for arbitrary and/or discriminatory permit denials, and (3) requires advance notice that is unconstitutionally excessive.

56. Regulation 50 is overbroad.?

57. Regulation 50 is not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest.?

58. Regulation 50 does not further a substantial government interest.?

59. Regulation 50’s restriction on expressive conduct is greater than necessary to further any
government interest.?

60. Defendants’ actions and/or omissions enforcing Regulation 50 caused, directly or
proximately, Plaintiffs to suffer damages.

CLAIM II: FIRST AMENDMENT RETALIATION
(§ 1983 violation – all Defendants)

1. All statements of fact set forth previously are hereby incorporated into this claim as though set forth fully herein. ?

2. Plaintiffs engaged in First Amendment protected speech on a matter of public concern ?while displaying signs opposing President Trump’s Muslim Ban on January 29, 2017.

3. Defendants jointly and on their own accord responded to Plaintiffs’ First Amendment protected speech with retaliation, including but not limited to threatening Plaintiffs with arrest.

4. Defendants retaliatory actions were substantially motivated by Plaintiffs’ exercise of their First Amendment rights.

5. By unlawfully threatening Plaintiffs with arrest, Defendants sought to punish Plaintiffs for exercising their First Amendment rights and to silence their future speech. Defendants’ retaliatory actions would chill a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in such First Amendment protected activity.

6. Defendants’ actions and/or omissions enforcing Regulation 50 caused, directly and proximately, Plaintiffs to suffer damages.

CLAIM III: FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT DUE PROCESS
(§ 1983 violation – all Defendants)

7. All statements of fact set forth previously are hereby incorporated into this claim as though set forth fully herein.

8. The prohibitions of Regulation 50 are vague and not clearly defined. ?

9. Regulation 50 offers no clear and measurable standard by which Plaintiffs and others can ?act lawfully.

10. Regulation 50 does not provide explicit standards for application by law enforcement officers.

11. Regulation 50 fails to provide people of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to understand what conduct it prohibits, and authorizes or encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, or both.

12. Defendants’ actions and/or omissions enforcing Regulation 50 caused, directly and proximately, Plaintiffs to suffer damages.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court enter judgment in their favor and against Defendants, and grant:

(a) Appropriate declaratory and other injunctive and/or equitable relief; 13

(b)  Enter a declaration that Regulation 50 is unconstitutional on its face and enjoin its enforcement; ?

(c)  Compensatory and consequential damages, including damages for emotional distress, loss of reputation, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering on all claims allowed by law in an amount to be determined at trial; ?

(d)  All economic losses on all claims allowed by law; ?

(e)  Punitive damages on all claims allowed by law and in an amount to be determined ?at trial; ?

(f)  Attorney’s fees and the costs associated with this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § ?1988; ?

(g)  Pre and post-judgment interest at the lawful rate; and ?

(h)  Any further relief that this court deems just and proper, and any other relief as ?allowed by law. ?

Dated this 6th day of February 2017.

KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP
s/ Andy McNulty

___________________________________
David A. Lane
?Andy McNulty?
Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLC
1543 Champa Street, Suite 400 Denver, Colorado 80202?
Attorneys for Plaintiff

2. Full text of Feb 6 motion for preliminary injunction:

Case 1:17-cv-00332 Document 2
Filed 02/06/17 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 23

Civil Action No.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

NAZLI MCDONNELL,
ERIC VERLO,

Plaintiffs, vs.

CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER,
DENVER POLICE COMMANDER ANTONIO LOPEZ, in his individual and official capacity,
DENVER POLICE SERGEANT VIRGINIA QUINONES, in her individual and official capacity,

Defendants.

______________________________________________________________________________

MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

______________________________________________________________________________

Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys David A. Lane and Andy McNulty of KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, hereby submit the following Motion for Preliminary Injunction, and in support thereof, states as follows:

1. Introduction

Over the last four days, many Americans have expressed public disapproval of President Donald Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order, which permanently bans Syrian refugees from emigrating to the United States, temporarily bans nationals of seven countries (including permanent legal residents and visa-holders), and suspends all applications to the United States refugee program (even as to vetted entrants currently in transit). Plaintiffs are concerned and alarmed United States citizens who wish to join the growing chorus of voices expressing opposition to the Executive Order. To do so, they wish to stand in silent protest at the Jeppesen Terminal within Denver International Airport.

Plaintiffs did just this on January 29, 2017, standing in silent protest of the Executive Order outside of the secure Customs and Border Protection (hereinafter “CBP”) screening area within Jeppesen Terminal. Almost immediately, Plaintiffs were threatened with arrest by Denver Police Department Sergeant Virginia Quinones for standing silently and holding signs opposing the Executive Order, despite that fact that the Jeppesen Terminal has previously been used for expressive activity (and that protesters at more than ten major airports nationwide have protested peacefully without major disruption or legal restriction). While silently displaying their signs, Plaintiffs were in the plaza within the Jeppesen Terminal and positioned significantly behind the railing, which demarcates where those waiting for loved ones are permitted to stand, in the open plaza outside of the secure CBP screening area at the Jeppesen Terminal. Plaintiffs did not impede the right of way of any passengers hustling to catch flights at the last moment. They simply stood with placards showing their distaste for the Executive Order and the man who executed it.

Even though Plaintiffs were simply engaged in peaceful First Amendment protected expression, they were threatened with arrest. Sergeant Quinones informed Plaintiffs that, in order to stand silently with political signs, they would need a permit. Without a permit, Sergeant Quinones stated, all “First Amendment expression” at the Denver International Airport was banned.

This was not the first time since the enactment of the Executive Order that the Denver Police Department threatened individuals with arrest for engaging in First Amendment protected activity in Jeppesen Terminal. On January 28, 2016, a protest was held in the plaza of Jeppesen Terminal. During the protest, Denver Police Commander Antonio Lopez instructed multiple individuals, including State Representative Joseph Salazar and representatives from the ACLU of Colorado, that all “First Amendment expression” was banned at Denver International Airport without a permit. See Exhibit 1, January 28, 2017, Video 1; Exhibit 2, January 28, 2017, Video 2. The protesters had, in fact, applied for a permit earlier that day. However, it had not been granted because they had not done so seven days in advance of the protest in compliance with Denver International Airport regulations. Although no arrests were ultimately made, protesters were threatened numerous times by Commander Lopez, and other officers, with arrest.

The Denver International Airport regulation that both Sergeant Quinones and Commander Lopez relied upon in instructing Plaintiffs, and others, that Denver International Airport bans all “First Amendment expression” without a permit is DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50 (hereinafter “Regulation 50”). Regulation 50 states that “no person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit for such activity issued by the CEO or his or her designee.” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.03. In order to obtain a permit, an individual must “complete a permit application and submit it during regular business hours, at least seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the activity for which the permit is sought[.]” DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.04-1.

Plaintiffs wish to return to Denver International Airport to protest the Executive Order, but are reasonably frightened of arrest and, absent action by this Court, must choose between lawfully exercising their First Amendment right and being subject to arrest and/or prosecution.

Plaintiffs ask that this Court enter an injunction prohibiting their arrest for standing in peaceful protest within Jeppesen Terminal and invalidating Regulation 50 as violative of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

2. Factual Background

All statements of fact set forth in the simultaneously filed Complaint are hereby incorporated into this Brief as though set forth fully herein.

3. Argument

3.1 The standard for issuance of a preliminary injunction.

When seeking a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must establish that (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm; (3) the balance of equities tips in his favor; and (4) that an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); see also ACLU v. Johnson, 194 F.3d 1149, 1155 (10th Cir. 1999).

The Tenth Circuit has modified the preliminary injunction test when the moving party demonstrates that the second, third, and fourth factors “tip strongly” in its favor. See Oklahoma ex rel. Okla. Tax Comm’n v. Int’l Registration Plan, Inc., 455 F.3d 1107, 1113 (10th Cir. 2006); see also 820 F.3d 1113, n.5 (10th Cir. 2016). “In such situations, the moving party may meet the requirement for showing success on the merits by showing that questions going to the merits are so serious, substantial, difficult, and doubtful as to make the issue ripe for litigation and deserving of more deliberate investigation.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover, this “fair chance of prevailing” test is appropriate in this case because Plaintiffs are challenging a policy, not a statue or ordinance. See Planned Parenthood Minn, N.D., & S.D. v. Rounds, 530 F.3d 724, 732 (9th Cir. 2008) (“[C]ourts should… apply the familiar ‘fair chance of prevailing’ test where a preliminary injunction is sought to enjoin something other than government action based on presumptively reasoned democratic processes.”).

Under either standard, Plaintiffs are able to demonstrate that the issuance of a preliminary injunction is appropriate in this matter.

3.3 Regulation 50 implicates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights. 1

When the government regulates the exercise of First Amendment rights, the burden is on the proponent of the restriction to establish its constitutionality. Phelps-Roper v. Koster, 713 F.3d 942, 949 (8th Cir. 2013). Moreover, when assessing the preliminary injunction factors in First Amendment cases, “the likelihood of success will often be the determinative factor.” Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114, 1145 (10th Cir. 2013). This is because “the loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably, constitutes irreparable injury,” Heideman v. Salt Lake City, 348 F.3d 1182, 1190 (10th Cir. 2003), and it is invariably in the public interest to protect an individual’s First Amendment rights. See Homans v. City of Albuquerque, 264 F.3d 1240, 1244 (10th Cir. 2001) (noting that “the public interest is better served” by protecting First Amendment rights).

[NOTE 1. It is important to note that facial challenges to government policies and statutes, when based on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds, are not disfavored. See United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. 460, 473 (2010); City of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41 (1999).]

3.4 Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits.

Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits because Regulation 50 violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

3.4(a) Plaintiffs engaged, and wish to engage, in speech on a matter of public concern.

Plaintiffs’ speech is at the core of the First Amendment’s protection because it deals with a matter of public concern. “Speech deals with matters of public concern when it can be fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community, or when it is a subject of legitimate news interest; that is, a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.” Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. 443, 453 (2011) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). “Speech on matters of public concern is at the heart of the First Amendment’s protection.” Id. at 451-52 (alterations and quotation marks omitted). “The First Amendment reflects ‘a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’” Id. at 452 (quoting New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964)). Plaintiffs wish to engage in expression about President Donald Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order, a topic that has generated nearly unprecedented debate and dissent. See Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, Here’s Your List of All the Protests Happening Against the Muslim Ban, THINK PROGRESS (Jan. 28, 2017), https://thinkprogress.org/muslim-ban-protests-344f6e66022e#.ft1oznfv4 (compiling list of direct actions planned in response to President Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order). Thus, Plaintiffs’ speech “‘occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.’” Snyder, 562 U.S. at 452 (quoting Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 145 (1983)).

3.4(b) Regulation 50 acts as a prior restraint.

The restriction at issue in this matter is a prior restraint. “The term prior restraint is used ‘to describe administrative and judicial orders forbidding certain communications when issued in advance of the time that such communications are to occur.’” Alexander v. United States, 509 U.S. 544, 550 (1993) (quoting M. Nimmer, Nimmer on Freedom of Speech § 4.03, p. 4–14 (1984)). Regulation 50 is in an administrative order that forbids future communication and bases the ability to communicate in the future on the discretion of an administrative official. See DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.03 (“no person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit for such activity issued by the CEO or his or her designee.” (emphasis added)). It is a prior restraint.

The burden of proving a prior restraint is permissible is particularly steep. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that “[a]ny system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity.” Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 70 (1963). For the reasons outlined infra, Defendants cannot meet this especially significant burden.

3.4(c) Jeppesen Terminal, outside of the passenger security zones, is a traditional public forum.

The Supreme Court has not definitively decided whether airport terminals, including Jeppesen Terminal, are public forums. In Lee v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., 505 U.S. 830 (1992) (hereinafter “Lee I”), issued the same day as International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672 (1992) (hereinafter “Lee II”), the Supreme Court struck down a total ban on distribution of literature in airports. In Lee I, the Court issued a one sentence per curiam opinion, which affirmed the Second Circuit for the reasons expressed by Justice O’Connor, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Souter in Lee II. See Lee I, 505 U.S. at 831. Justice Kennedy and Justice Souter’s opinions in Lee II found that “airport corridors and shopping areas outside of the passenger security zones… are public forums, and speech in those places is entitled to protection against all government regulation inconsistent with public forum principles.” Lee II, 505 U.S. at 693 (Kennedy, J., concurring in the judgment); but see Lee II, 505 U.S. at 683 (“”[W]e think that neither by tradition nor purpose can the terminals be described as satisfying the standards we have previously set out for identifying a public forum.”).

Therefore, Plaintiffs ask this Court to find the area of Jeppesen Terminal outside of the passenger security zones to be a public forum. The historical use of the Jeppesen Terminal’s plazas and other areas outside of the passenger security zones (including the area outside of the secure CBP screening area) for political speech (particularly, the history of welcoming of American military personnel home from service, discussion between passengers of matters of public concern, and display of clothing advocating for political views and ideals) indicates that it is a public forum. See First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City v. Salt Lake City Corp., 308 F.3d 1114, 1130 (10th Cir. 2002) (“Where courts have considered the traditional use of publicly accessible property for speech, they have refused to attribute legal significance to an historical absence of speech activities where that non-speech history was created by the very restrictions at issue in the case.”). Further, that the Jeppesen Terminal is free and open to the public (outside of the passenger security zones), illustrates that it is a public forum. See, e.g., Ark. Educ. Television Comm’n v. Forbes, 523 U.S. 666, 676 (1998); Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Def. & Educ. Fund, 473 U.S. 788, 800, 805, 809 (1985). Finally, Jeppesen Terminal retains characteristics similar to parks: it has large plazas lined with benches, it is surrounded by businesses which are open to the public, and it has dedicated walkways, similar to sidewalks, indicating that it is a public forum. See e.g., Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474, 480-481 (1988); United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 177 (1983). Further, the Supreme Court has not strictly limited the public forum category to streets, sidewalks, and parks. See, e.g., Se. Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad, 420 U.S. 546 (1975) (finding leased municipal theater is a public forum); Heffron v. Int’l Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., 452 U.S. 640 (1981) (finding state fair is a public forum); Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963) (finding grounds of state capitol are a traditional public forum). Even if the City claims that it has never intended for Jeppesen Terminal to be a public forum, this is not dispositive. See Lee, 505 U.S. at 830 (government policy prohibiting distribution of literature at airport on property struck down); Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 805 (government’s decision to limit access is not itself dispositive). Plaintiffs’ ask that this Court find Jeppesen Terminal, outside of the passenger security zones, a traditional public forum.

Since Jeppesen Terminal is a traditional public forum, any restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech must be content-neutral and narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest. Regulation 50 fails at both.

3.4(d) Regulation 50 is content-based.

Regulation 50 is a content-based restriction of expression. Although the Supreme Court has long held that content-based restrictions elicit strict scrutiny, see, e.g., Carey v. Brown, 447 U.S. 455 (1980), lower courts diverged on the meaning of “content-based” until Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015). 2 Reed clarified that a restriction is content based simply if it draws distinctions “based on the message a speaker conveys.” 135 S. Ct. at 2227. Reed is clear that even “subtle” distinctions that define regulated expression “by its function or purpose . . . are distinctions based on the message a speaker conveys, and therefore, are subject to strict scrutiny.” Id. This accords with Texas v. Johnson, which held that “the emotive impact of speech on its audience is not a secondary effect unrelated to the content of the expression itself.” 491 U.S. 491 U.S. 297, 412 (1989) (internal quotations omitted).

[NOTE 2. Reed involved a municipal “sign code” that regulated signs differently based on the kind of message they conveyed (such as “ideological,” “political,” or “temporary directional”). 135 S. Ct. at 2224-25. The Court rejected the city’s argument that a law had to discriminate against certain viewpoints in order to be a content-based restriction. Id. at 2229.]

Regulation 50 is content-based on its face. It distinguishes between content and requires that an official determine the content of the speaker’s message when enforcing its proscriptions. Reed, 135 S. Ct. at 2227; see DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50.03 (“No person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute[.]” (emphasis added)). The distinctions drawn by Regulation 50 make it a facially content-based restriction on expression that must elicit “the most exacting scrutiny.” Johnson, 491 U.S. at 412; Reed, 135 S. Ct. at 2227.

3.4(e) Regulation 50 is not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest.

As a facially content-based restriction of expression at traditional public fora, Regulation 50 is presumptively unconstitutional unless Defendant “prove[s] that the restriction furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.” Reed, 135 St. Ct. at 2231; accord Johnson, 491 U.S. at 412.

“A statute is narrowly tailored if it targets and eliminates no more than the exact source of the ‘evil’ it seeks to remedy.” Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474, 485 (1988) (citation omitted). Regulation 50 reaches more speech than that which would impair the security of the airport or ensure that passengers are not unduly encumbered. In fact, it completely bans all “First Amendment expression.” “A complete ban can be narrowly tailored, but only if each activity within the proscription’s scope is an appropriately targeted evil.” Id.. Regulation 50 is not such a ban. For instance, Plaintiffs’ expression does nothing to jeopardize security at Denver International Airport or to inhibit the free flow of passengers through the airport.

Further, any argument that Plaintiffs can engage in expressive activity in another location lacks merit, as the Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment is violated when one specific location or audience, when important to the speaker, is foreclosed. See McCullen v. Coakley, 134 S. Ct. 2518, 2536 (2014); Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, 519 U.S. 357, 377 (1997) (invalidating a “floating” buffer zone around people entering an abortion clinic partly on the ground that it prevented protestors “from communicating a message from a normal conversational distance or handing leaflets to people entering or leaving the clinics who are walking on the public sidewalks”); Schneider v. New Jersey, 308 U.S. 147, 163 (1939) (invalidating anti-handbilling ordinances even though “their operation is limited to streets and alleys and leaves persons free to distribute printed matter in other public places”). Regulation 50 lacks the narrow tailoring necessary to survive First Amendment strict scrutiny analysis.

3.4(f) Regulation 50 violates the First Amendment even if this Court determines Jeppesen Terminal is a nonpublic forum.

Regulation 50 bans all “First Amendment expression” absent a permit; it is unconstitutional even when analyzed under the lower standard of scrutiny applied by courts to First Amendment political speech in a nonpublic forum. In Board of Airport Commissioners of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, Inc., 482 U.S. 569 (1987), the Supreme Court considered whether a resolution restricting free speech in the airport was constitutional. The resolution at issue stated that the airport “is not open for First Amendment activities by any individual and/or entity.” Id. at 574. Although the Court did not explicitly find that the airport was a nonpublic forum, it did hold that the resolution restricting speech in the airport was facially unreasonable, even if the airport was a nonpublic forum. Id. at 573. The Court noted that enforcing the resolution would prohibit “talking and reading, or the wearing of campaign buttons or symbolic clothing.” Id. at 574. The Court also noted, “[m]uch nondisruptive speech–such as the wearing of a T-shirt or button that contains a political message–may not be ‘airport related’ but is still protected speech even in a nonpublic forum.” Id. at 575 (citing Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) (holding that wearing of jacket with offensive language in a courthouse was a form of nondisruptive expression that was protected by the First Amendment)). Thus, although specific conduct was not at issue in the Jews for Jesus decision, the Court nonetheless implicitly held that non-disruptive speech is protected by the First Amendment in nonpublic fora and that restrictions that encumber non-disruptive expression are unreasonable.

In Lee II, Justice O’Connor set forth the test for determining reasonableness in the context of nonpublic fora. 505 U.S. at 687 (O’Connor, J., concurring). 3 She stated, ”[t]he reasonableness of the Government’s restriction [on speech in a nonpublic forum] must be assessed in light of the purpose of the forum and all the surrounding circumstances.” Id. (O’Connor, J., concurring) (quoting Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 809). However, Justice O’Connor noted that while “[o]rdinarily . . . we have . . . been confronted with cases where the fora at issue were discrete, single-purpose facilities,” airports present a different analysis because they are multipurpose facilities. Id. at 688 (O’Connor, J., concurring) (citations omitted). She determined airports to be multipurpose facilities because

the Port Authority [has] chosen not to limit access to the airports under its control, [and] has created a huge complex open to travelers and nontravelers alike. The airports house restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, coffee shops, cocktail lounges, post offices, banks, telegraph offices, clothing shops, drug stores, food stores, nurseries, barber shops, currency exchanges, art exhibits, commercial advertising displays, bookstores, newsstands, dental offices and private clubs.

Id. This led to the finding that “[t]he reasonableness inquiry, therefore, is not whether the restrictions on speech are consistent with preserving the property for air travel, but whether they are reasonably related to maintaining the multipurpose environment that the Port Authority has deliberately created.” Id. at 689. A complete ban on First Amendment activity at the Jeppesen Terminal, absent a permit that must be obtained by providing seven days advance notice, is not a reasonable restriction. Regulation 50 does not comport with Justice O’Connor’s conclusion that airports are more than simply places where air travel occurs.

[NOTE 3. It is important to note that Lee involved a plurality opinion, joined by Justice O’Connor. Therefore, Justice O’Connor’s concurrence is the “narrowest grounds” that justify the Court’s result and her concurrence holds substantial precedential weight.]

Moreover, Justice O’Connor distinguished between solicitations (which the Supreme Court found could be reasonably restricted) and distributing leaflets (which the Supreme Court found could not be reasonably restricted) in the airport:

[L]eafleting does not entail the same kinds of problems presented by face-to-face solicitation. Specifically, “one need not ponder the contents of a leaflet or pamphlet in order mechanically to take it out of someone’s hand . . . . The distribution of literature does not require that the recipient stop in order to receive the message the speaker wishes to convey; instead the recipient is free to read the message at a later time.”

Id. at 690 (quoting United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720, 734 (1990)).

Thus, the Court held in Lee II that prohibiting solicitation in a nonpublic forum is not unreasonable, but that prohibiting the distribution of leaflets and other literature at a nonpublic forum is unreasonable. See also Lee, 505 U.S. at 830 (decided the same day as Lee II and striking down a prohibition on the distribution of leaflets and other literature at La Guardia, John F. Kennedy, and Newark International airports) (per curiam). Circuit courts have also recognized the inherent right to distribute paper and other information in nonpublic fora. Following Lee I and Lee II, two circuit courts have held that airports, as nonpublic fora, could not preclude newspaper publishers from placing newsracks in airport terminals. See Jacobsen v. City of Rapid City, South Dakota, 128 F.3d 660 (8th Cir. 1997); Multimedia Publishing Co. of South Carolina, Inc. v. Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Dist., 991 F.2d 154 (4th Cir. 1993). To the extent that the airports were concerned about safety or the impediment of traffic flow, the courts held that the airport may impose reasonable restrictions, but they could not enforce an outright ban on the newspaper racks. See Jacobsen, 128 F.3d at 660; Multimedia Publishing Co. of South Carolina, Inc., 991 F.2d at 154.

Denver, through Regulation 50, has banned all “First Amendment expression” including leafleting and protests. In fact, Plaintiffs expression is arguably less intrusive and disruptive to air travel than the form of expression, namely leafletting, that the Court held could not be reasonably restricted in the areas of an airport that precede the security screening area. It is clear from Lee I, Lee II, and Jews for Jesus that Denver cannot ban all “First Amendment expression” at the Jeppesen Terminal.

3.4(f)(1) Independently, the viewpoint-based prohibition of Plaintiffs’ speech, based on Regulation 50, violates the First Amendment.

Even if Jeppesen Terminal is a nonpublic forum, “this does not mean the government has unbridled control over speech, . . . for it is axiomatic that ‘the First Amendment forbids the government to regulate speech in ways that favor some viewpoints or ideas at the expense of others.” Summum v. Callaghan, 130 F.3d 906, 916 (10th Cir. 1997) (quoting Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School Dist., 508 U.S. 384, 394, (1993)). “Restrictions on speech in nonpublic fora must be viewpoint neutral[.]” Warren v. Fairfax Cty., 196 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing Cornelius, 473 at 809). Defendants’ restriction of Plaintiffs’ speech, under the guise of Regulation 50, discriminates on the basis of viewpoint. Individuals walk through Denver International Airport with political messages and slogans on their shirts and luggage and discuss politics on a daily basis. Counsel for Plaintiffs has worn political shirts while traveling through Denver International Airport and discussed modern politics with fellow passengers on many occasions. However, no other individual, to Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs’ counsel’s knowledge, has been threatened with arrest for engaging in this political speech. Nor has any individual been arrested for displaying pro-President Trump messages, for example a red hat that reads “Make America Great Again.” Only Plaintiffs’ expressive activity against the President’s Executive Order, and others advocating similarly, has been threatened with arrest. Regulation 50 is being enforced as a clearly view-point based restriction. Defendants’ application of Regulation 50 to Plaintiffs speech is view-point based and violates the First Amendment.

3.4(g) The seven day advance notice requirement for obtaining a permit is not a reasonable restriction.

Notice periods restrict spontaneous free expression and assembly rights safeguarded in the First Amendment. Plaintiffs, like many others throughout history, wish to engage in First Amendment expression in quick response to topical events. While even in such time-sensitive situations, a municipality may require some short period of advance notice so as to allow it time to take measures to provide for necessary traffic control and other aspects of public safety, the period can be no longer than necessary to meet the City’s urgent and essential needs of this type. See American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. v. City of Dearborn, 418 F.3d 600, 605 (6th Cir. 2005) (“Any notice period is a substantial inhibition on speech.”).

Advance notice requirements that have been upheld by courts have most generally been less than a week. See, e.g., A Quaker Action Group v. Morton, 516 F.2d 717, 735 (D.C. Cir. 1975) (two-day advance notice requirement is reasonable for use of National Park areas in District of Columbia for public gatherings); Powe v. Miles, 407 F.2d 73, 84 (2d Cir. 1968) (two-day advance notice requirement for parade is reasonable); Progressive Labor Party v. Lloyd, 487 F. Supp. 1054, 1059 (D. Mass. 1980) (three-day advance filing requirement for parade permit approved in context of broader challenge); Jackson v. Dobbs, 329 F. Supp. 287, 292 (N.D. Ga. 1970) (marchers must obtain permit by 4 p.m. on day before the march), aff’d, 442 F.2d 928 (5th Cir. 1971). Lengthy advance filing requirements for parade permits, such as the seven day advance notice requirement imposed by Regulation 50, have been struck down as violating the First Amendment. See American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., 418 F.3d at 605-07 (holding that provision requiring thirty days’ notice is overbroad and is not saved by an unwritten policy of waiving the provision); NAACP, W. Region v. City of Richmond, 743 F.2d 1346, 1357 (9th Cir. 1984) (“[A]ll available precedent suggests that a 20-day advance notice requirement is overbroad.”). Even an advance filing requirement of five days has been held too long to comport with the First Amendment. See Douglas v. Brownell, 88 F.3d 1511, 1523-24 (8th Cir. 1996) (city’s asserted goals of protecting pedestrian and vehicular traffic and minimizing inconvenience to the public does not justify five-day advance filing requirement for any parade, defined as ten or more persons).

It is clear that, in the case at bar, a permit requirement of seven days advance notice is not a reasonable restriction of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights. Plaintiffs wish to engage in timely, direct action against, what they perceive as, a tyrannical and unconstitutional exercise of the executive power. If Plaintiffs were to have applied for a permit at the exact moment President Trump signed the Executive Order, they would still have been prevented from engaging in First Amendment activity on January 29, 2017. In direct action, like in most things, timing is everything. As evidenced by myriad protests that occurred across the nation’s airports, which were accompanied by no violence or destruction of property and did not otherwise jeopardize security, accommodation of protest at the Jeppesen Terminal is reasonable. Such a lengthy approval period, with no exceptions for spontaneous, peaceful protests, violates the First Amendment. See Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan v. City of Gary, 334 F.3d 676, 682 (7th Cir. 2003) (noting that “the length of the required period of advance notice is critical to its reasonableness; and given … that political demonstrations are often engendered by topical events, a very long period of advance notice with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations unreasonably limits free speech” (emphasis added)).

3.4(h) Regulation 50 is overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.

“[A] law may be invalidated as overbroad if ‘a substantial number of its applications are unconstitutional, judged in relation to the [ordinance]’s plainly legitimate sweep.’” United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. 460, 473 (2010) (quoting Wash. State Grange v. Wash. State Republican Party, 552 U.S. 442, 449 n.6 (2008)). An overbroad statute may be challenged on its face even though a more narrowly drawn statute would be valid as applied to the party in the case before it. City Council of L.A. v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, 798 (1984) (“[B]roadly written statutes may have such a deterrent effect on free expression that they should be subject to challenge even by a party whose own conduct may be unprotected.”). The Supreme Court “has repeatedly held that a government purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulation may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms.” NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Flowers, 377 U.S. 288, 307 (1964); see also Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 109, 114-15 (1972) (“The crucial question, then, is whether the ordinance sweeps within its prohibitions what may not be punished under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”). Courts have “provided this expansive remedy out of concern that the threat of enforcement of an overbroad law may deter or ‘chill’ constitutionally protected speech—especially when the overbroad statute imposes criminal sanctions.” Virginia v. Hicks, 539 U.S. 113, 119 (2003).

Determining whether a law is substantially overbroad requires a two-step analysis. First, a court must “construe the challenged [law]; it is impossible to determine whether a [law] reaches too far without first knowing what the [law] covers.” United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285, 293 (2008). Second, based on the first step, a court must determine whether the law “criminalizes a substantial amount of protected expressive activity.” Id. at 297.

Regulation 50 provides that “no person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit for such activity issued by the CEO or his or her designee.” Those tasked with enforcing Regulation 50, have stated that it bans all “First Amendment expression.” See Exhibit 1, January 28, 2017, Video 1; Exhibit 2, January 28, 2017, Video 2.

A complete prohibition on First Amendment expression and related activity proscripts a substantial amount of protected expressive activity. See Jews for Jesus, 482 U.S. at 569; Lee, 505 U.S. at 830. It prohibits face-to-face conversations and wearing clothing intended to convey a message, along with leafleting and other traditional First Amendment activity, all of which protected expression. Regulation 50’s overbreadth is stark and violates the guarantees of the First Amendment.

3.4(i) Regulation 50 is unconstitutionally vague.

“A fundamental principle in our legal system is that laws which regulate persons or entities must give fair notice of conduct that is forbidden or required.” F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 132 S. Ct. 2307, 2317 (2012). “A law’s failure to provide fair notice of what constitutes a violation is a special concern where laws ‘abut[ ] upon sensitive areas of basic First Amendment freedoms’ because it ‘inhibit[s] the exercise’ of freedom of expression and ‘inevitably lead[s] citizens to steer far wider of the unlawful zone … than if the boundaries of the forbidden areas were clearly marked.’” Stahl v. City of St. Louis, 687 F.3d 1038, 1041 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Grayned, 408 U.S. at 109). For this reason, a stringent vagueness test applies to a law that interferes with the right of free speech. Vill. of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc., 455 U.S. 489, 499 (1982). “Where a statute’s literal scope, unaided by a narrowing state court interpretation, is capable of reaching expression sheltered by the First Amendment, the doctrine demands a greater degree of specificity than in other contexts.” Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566, 573 (1974).

Regulation 50 is vague, and therefore unconstitutional, for two separate reasons. First, Regulation 50 fails “to provide the kind of notice that will enable ordinary people to understand what conduct it prohibits.” City of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41, 56 (1999). A law is unconstitutionally vague where it “does not provide people with fair notice of when their actions are likely to become unlawful.” Stahl, 687 F.3d at 1041. Because violators of Regulation 50 are subject to criminal sanction, the strictest vagueness test applies. See Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 872 (1997) (recognizing criminal sanctions might “cause speakers to remain silent rather than communicate even arguably unlawful words, ideas, and images” which, together with the “‘risk of discriminatory enforcement’ of vague regulations, poses greater First Amendment concerns than those implicated by [a] civil regulation[.]”). Whether expressive activity will be deemed “First Amendment expression” in the Jeppesen Terminal is not predictable. Plaintiffs have reasonably refrained from protected speech for fear that someone might consider their expression to be in violation of the regulation. However, officials have failed to enforce the regulation against many others who are seemingly in violation, including those discussing politics with other passengers, wearing clothing meant to make some social or political statement, limo drivers soliciting passengers, and those welcoming home military veterans. Although there might be times when a speaker knows, or should know, that certain speech will violate the statute, in many situations such an effect is difficult or impossible to predict. See Stahl, 687 F.3d at 1041 (finding vagueness because even “[t]hough there are certainly times when a speaker knows or should know that certain speech or activities likely will cause a traffic problem, in many situations such an effect is difficult or impossible to predict.”). Regulation 50 fails to give fair notice and therefore violates the mandates of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Regulation 50 is also unconstitutionally broad because it “authorize[s] and even encourage[s] arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” Morales, 527 U.S. at 56. Regulation 50’s terms allow law enforcement officials wide discretion to decide whether any given speech is prohibited and arrest the speaker. “Such a statute does not provide for government by clearly defined laws, but rather for government by the moment-to-moment opinions of a policeman on his beat.” Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 579 (1965); see Norton v. Discipline Comm. of E. Tenn. State Univ., 399 U.S. 906, 909 (1970) (“Officials of public universities . . . are no more free than policemen or prosecutors to punish speech because it is rude or disrespectful, or because it causes in them vague apprehensions, or because for any other reason they do not like its content.”).

Officers have been observed enforcing Regulation 50 against those protesting President Trump’s Executive Order, but not against those wearing other political shirts or buttons. Officers have not enforced the regulation against other political expression, including those standing in support of military veterans returning home from combat. Seemingly, the only ones who have been subject to this regulation are those who are specifically speaking against President Trump’s Executive Order. “The most meaningful aspect of the vagueness doctrine is . . . the requirement that a legislature establish minimal guidelines to govern law enforcement.” Smith, 415 U.S. at 574. Because the terms allow a police officer leeway to determine that expressive conduct is lawful, or not, they are vague. Regulation 50 permits “a standardless sweep [that] allows policemen, prosecutors, and juries to pursue their personal predilections.” Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352, 358 (1983) (internal citations omitted). It is unconstitutional.

3.5 Absent an injunction, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm.

“The loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.” Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976); see also Verlo v. Martinez, 820 F.3d 1113, 1127 (10th Cir. 2016); Awad v. Ziriax, 670 F.3d 1111, 1131 (10th Cir. 2012) (“[W]hen an alleged constitutional right is involved, most courts hold that no further showing of irreparable injury is necessary.”); Verlo v. Martinez, 820 F.3d 1113, 1127 (10th Cir. 2016).

Moreover, Plaintiffs’ expression is a time-sensitive response to a nearly unprecedented action by our federal government. But see C. Norwood, A Twitter Tribute to Holocaust Victims, THE ATLANTIC (January 27, 2017), https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/jewish-refugees-in-the-us/514742/ (describing the rebuff of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939, many of whom would be murdered during the Holocaust); Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944). Delaying Plaintiffs’ protest, and discouraging Plaintiffs and others from demonstrating, detracts from its importance and provides a false appearance that Denver is not like other cities of all sizes across the country that have mustered sizeable protests at their airports. Denver has held itself out as a “sanctuary city.” Jon Murray, Mayor Hancock says he welcomes “sanctuary city” title if it means Denver supports immigrants and refugees, The DENVER POST (January 30, 2017), http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/30/mayor-hancock-welcomes-sanctuary-city-title-denver-supports-immigrants-refugees/. For Colorado’s citizens to seemingly show lackluster support in this time of trial would not only irreparable harm Plaintiffs, and others, but it would go against the public interest.

3.6 The balance of the equities weighs in favor of granting a preliminary injunction.

“The balance of equities… generally favors the constitutionally-protected freedom of expression.” Phelps-Roper v. Nixon, 545 F.3d 685, 690 (8th Cir. 2008) overruled on other grounds by Phelps-Roper v. City of Manchester, Mo., 697 F.3d 678 (8th Cir. 2012). Courts have consistently held that when First Amendment freedoms are threatened, the balance of the equities weighs in the Plaintiffs’ favor. See Verlo, 820 F.3d at 1127; Awad, 670 F.3d at 1132. There is no harm to Defendant, who has no significant interest in the enforcement of Regulation 50 since it is likely unconstitutional.

3.7 A preliminary injunction is in the public interest.

“[I]t is always in the public interest to prevent the violation of a party’s constitutional rights.” Awad, 670 F.3d at 1133 (internal quotation marks omitted); accord Verlo, 820 F.3d at 1127; Pac. Frontier v. Pleasant Grove City, 414 F.3d 1221, 1237 (10th Cir. 2005) (“Vindicating First Amendment freedoms is clearly in the public interest.”); Cate v. Oldham, 707 F.2d 1176, 1190 (10th Cir. 1983) (noting “[t]he strong public interest in protecting First Amendment values”).

4. Conclusion

For the reasons stated, Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court grant their Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, enjoin enforcement of Regulation 50, and prohibit Defendants from arresting Plaintiffs and all others similarly situated when they engage in First Amendment protected activity within Jeppesen Terminal.

Dated this 6th day of February, 2017

KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP
s/ Andy McNulty
__________________________

David Lane
Andy McNulty
1543 Champa Street, Suite 400 Denver, CO 80202
Counsel for Plaintiffs

Fuck Cops Guy Eric Brandt deployed ACME Kop Katcher Kit but caught Denver’s SIT-LIE ordinance instead


DENVER, COLORADO- That’s right, DPD motorcycle gang members fell for Eric Brandt’s cop trap, hook line and donut, but as usual, that’s not what Eric was after. On this particular arrest date, Eric wanted to test Denver’s “Sit-Lie” ordinance and this week Eric had his day in court. The city pressed its case for two days but after only ten minutes of deliberation the jury found Eric innocent. He admitted to sitting down, to purposefully seeking arrest, but his lawyer drove home the import of repudiating unjust law. Denver’s ban on sitting or laying down in its Business Improvement District is a prohibition aimed squarely at the homeless. By a five out of six majority the jury vindicated Eric Brandt and refused to convict.

The first day was spent hearing the testimony of a 20-year veteran cop so clueless he thought protests required permits, so flaky he denied seeing Eric’s donut or the six by four foot box tilting above it. He was so smug he cropped the ACME Kop Katcher Kit out of his crime scene photo, and so dumb he reported verifying Brandt’s identity by his RTD disability pass yet failed to deduce Brandt was disabled. This poor officer was so simpleminded that Eric’s defense attorney risked being seen badgering him with a mere superiority of faculties.

As a result, the officer’s misconception about permits was not corrected. The audience knew his MO to be an unconstitutional, the jury got it, as might your average highschool civics student, so the cross examination ended without having to contradict the little officer of the law. But the cop left the stand as he came in, having spent sixteen years of his service on the motorcycle unit, policing marches downtown, following orders and harranging protesters because they don’t have permits. And he’s back on the beat right now.

Otherwise the outcome of Eric’s trial was a total victory. For jury nullification. For freedom of expression. For the affirmative defense that performance art trumps a municipality’s authority to enforce conformity and order. And for human rights. Everyone has a right to sit down whether or not a chair is provided or deprived for that purpose. Those of us with places to sit, like cars and houses and restaurant chairs, don’t need that protection, but the homeless do. No gentrifying business-first politician should be coaxing police to pretend it should be otherwise.

The DPD may still issue citations but the likelihood of conviction is now greatly diminished. A civil suit from Eric will now hasten Denver’s incentive to repeal the errant ordinance. Downtown Denver’s sit-lie law is about to sunset by natural cause, Eric Brandt, force of nature.

HITMAN!- Obama’s new model for lawless international policing

There is a new model for lawless US government policing, where the government can now issue ‘a hit’ on whoever it pleases by merely offering up a reward ‘Dead or Alive’ against whoever, and/ or whatever organization worldwide the President designates. No need for warrants, and no need for courts and judges at all, in fact. The sheriff simply aims to KILL! …Bang! Bang! Bang! You can do it for the Boss, and get paid to do so, too! That’s the lack of Law we now have internationally!

I think it’s time that we throw out all pretense that we are a democracy in the US functioning with rules and regulations for government conduct. Let’s admit it now- GOVERNMENT ALLOWS ITSELF TO DO ANY DAMN THING IT FEELS LIKE. Bush and Cheney did not get us there, the Democratic Party, ‘liberal’ voters, and Obama did. Let’s read what has me saying that this is where our country is now at, shall we? … U.S. puts $10 million bounty on Pakistan terror group's leader

The question is not whether this man and his group are either good, bad, or indifferent. The problem here is that Obama has set himself up here as autocratic KING, or perhaps as the Sheriff of Nottingham, where his edicts are now automatically to be Law, no matter any due process to it or not? Can you imagine if the local police were to begin to function in such a manner (and it is merely a matter of a short time before they actually will begin to function this way) as taking out bounties against who the police chief and mayor might designate as criminals?

In a matter of a short 2 decades, the US government has gone from claiming to be enforcing international law against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, to now acting much worse itself than Saddam Hussein ever once did in regards to these matters. And we as a population have questioned very little of all of this. We are simply being led down a blind and dead end alley of international lawlessness, that will one day haunt the American people.

We have allowed our government to lawlessly defeat its own people and erase all our rights, all simply under the guise of fighting ‘the bad guys’. We have been totally stupid and unresponsive to their taking away of our Rights, and now headlines such as the above go undiscussed and unmentioned. Our national soul is now dead. And all to supposedly help capture whom? Our new governmental designated official demon of the day… Hafiz Sayeed?

Long Live the King! Long Live the Matrix! Long Live the Military Industrial Governmental Complex! Swear allegiance or you might be ‘hit’.

Wall Street Journal in Anti-Mosque Rant.

Saying that moderate Islam doesn’t exist, that al Qa’eda and Taliban operatives would kill anybody who expressed in the Arab Countries any non-extremist position.
What a Fat Load Of Shit.
Again painting Islam as a monolithic entity, no differences between nations or even PEOPLE.
Let’s put that in Christian Western Moderate terms yes? Since the Crusades pitted Christian against Christian more often that Christian against Muslim, and every war since then, German chaplains instructing their soldiers in Both World Wars to go into battle screaming “Gott Mit Uns” meaning, God is on OUR side, and the British Chaplains same way instructing their Cannon Fodder to scream “God and King!” as they marched in an orderly fashion through the portals of Hell…
There must not be any such thing as a Moderate Christian because the Radicals, like for instance Michelle Malkin, and Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck, would have us all killed if we expressed any form of moderation. Although that IS the ultimate logical end of their truly screwed up mindset.

There’s an internet rule that nobody is supposed to be compared to the Nazi regime no matter how much their plans for a New World Regime goose-steps right along with the Nazi philosophy. That’s a huge benefit for Sarah and Glenn and Michelle and Pam Geller and similar Nazi-think-alikes.

Do they consider the import of their making war against ANY religious belief? Especially in the name of what many other churches would consider Fringe Elements in for instance Sarah Palin’s AOG church or Glenn Beck’s LDS church, or Hannity’s Catholic Church. The reason they’re writing Slave Owner Thomas Jefferson as being not really a Founding Father is because he actually wrote a treatise on Separation of Church and State. Something they deny was the Holy and Unquestionable “original intent” of the Holy, Saintly and of Course Unanimously Christian (even though the first four presidents and Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams were Deists, not Christian)

They’re writing off Jefferson not because of his slaves, a position of which they approve, National Burn the Confederate Flag Day 9/12 but because of his position on Religious Freedom implicitly and explicitly being dependent on No National Religion. He lived in Virginia, which before and even after the Revolution exchanged shots with the Catholic contingent in Maryland. Not a coincidence, but the very names Virginia and Maryland reflect the ongoing war in England at the time over Catholic-versus-Protestant.
Neither name has anything to do with the Virgin Mary. It’s Mary Stewart, Catholic, and Elizabeth Tudor the Virgin Queen of England who never married and officially never had sex,

Their bloody little Christian-on-Christian Crime Spree was just one corner of a Vast anti-Christian Christian Crusade which still goes on.
Both Virginia and Maryland not only each banned the other’s Major Denomination but also Jews, Quakers and Native American religions. Thomas Jefferson opposed that.

If the Muslim Countries had even HALF that kind of track record of Militancy there would be probably only two Muslim fellows left in the entire world, playing a mad game of Heavily Armed hide and seek, maybe peering at each other through sniper scopes as they each squeezed the trigger…

I can’t paint any human, not even me, as being a Perfect and Saintly type (although I come close)

(hey, flaunt what you got)
Neither can I demonize wholesale a quarter of the human beings in the world.
One thing I’ve learned, since I was old enough to choose and chose Christian, of all the religions in the world the one that probably has the Very Least room for casting stones is Christianity.

By the way, TeaBags, even if Obama WERE a Muslim, he’d still be the president. There’s no law requiring anybody to be of any religion in order to hold any public office. And there’s explicit Constitutional Law prohibiting any such a statute ever being passed. Bite me.

Also there’s a provision in Christian churches, because of the massive Christian on Christian ongoing crime spree, for somebody being secretly catholic or secretly protestant, or even secretly Jewish (view the book of Chadassah)(Esther) but there is NO such provision in Islam.

Guess opposing him on the strength of your Racial and Religious bigotry is a lot easier than opposing his continuance of the War, right? Especially since your TeaTard leadership supports the Continual War Everlasting.

Also if you did manage to have him arrested, deported, impeached, whatever, Joe Biden would be President. Not Sarah Palin.

Remember the Y2K plot?

The one that was supposedly broken by U.S. Customs on one side of the border and the RCMP on the others.
That would be Customs before they became the Terrorist acronym “ICE”, under the Liberal Bill Clinton, and the Canadian Cops, who, according to the Right Wing Screaming Club, are wimps whose idea of Torture is serving the tea with 2 sugars instead of3 a tad cooler than it’s supposed to be served and forgetting to begin and end a sentence with the word “Sir”.
Seems the Rush Limbaugh “professional torturers” who know all there is to know about the Law, the Constitution that is the basis of that Law and how to interrogate people, wanted to have instead of a usual method of arresting, booking, and charging a Human Being with a felony, wanted to skip straight to the pulling out of fingernails, waterboarding and Crucifixion.
Seriously, Right wing freaks, listen up… Torture is a sex crime, a violent rape. The persons who engage in torture are in fact Rapists. You would commit our national security into the hands of Perverted Assholes who get sexually aroused by human beings screaming in pain. They need a check-up from the neck-up, not a cushy government job, not guaranteed unlimited immunity from prosecution from their Violent Sexual Predator Rapes.

And the MORONS who support these policies of allowing Torture Freak Sadist Rapists to hold the lives and deaths not only their bound and helpless victims but also the lives and deaths of Americans everywhere who are put at risk because they’re wasting their time and our money Getting Their Pathetic Little Rocks Off. If you’re Stupid enough or Insane Enough to trust YOUR safety, and of course mine, to people who are that Mentally Off-Balance that they enjoy, sexually, the pain of others then you also need a Check-up from the Neck-up.

Is it really illegal to boycott Israel?

boycott-israeli-goods-end-apartheidIt is not illegal for US consumers to boycott anyone’s products. But the business decisions of companies affiliated with Israel do enjoy some curious protective constraints…
 
It’s ironic that as the US enforces rigid sanctions against international companies which violate its embargo against Cuba, the US has enacted laws simultaneously which prohibit its companies from complying with trade restrictions called by others.

As a further embarrassment, the antiboycotting measure specifies just one boycott, literally: the League of Arab Nations boycott of Israel.

So while American consumers are free to make the buying decisions they wish, it is illegal for an American business to adjust its business practices to boycott Israel.

In other words, as much as social justice activists might like to ask a department store not to carry Ahava beauty products taken from Occupied Territory shores, the store would be prohibited by US law to do so as an act of compliance. ahava-stolen-beauty-occupation For another example, fashion labels such as DKNY and cK could decide to discontinue carrying undergarments manufactured by Delta Galil from settler farms in Palestine, but they couldn’t do it because of someone’s boycott.

(Delta Galil supplies clothing to the Gap, Banana Republic, Structure, J-Crew, JC Penny, Pryca, Lindex, DIM, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Playtex, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss.)

This law makes a commercial boycott impossible to resolve between customer and business, but ultimately results in more pressure being applied to the source cause, which are the policies of Israel.

According to the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Antiboycott Compliance, in the 1970s two laws were enacted “to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation’s economic boycotts or embargoes. These ‘antiboycott’ laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). While these laws share a common purpose, there are distinctions in their administration.”

Antiboycott Compliance

The Bureau is charged with administering and enforcing the Antiboycott Laws under the Export Administration Act. Those laws discourage, and in some circumstances, prohibit U.S. companies from furthering or supporting the boycott of Israel sponsored by the Arab League, and certain Moslem countries, including complying with certain requests for information designed to verify compliance with the boycott. Compliance with such requests may be prohibited by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may be reportable to the Bureau.

The law specifies boycotts called by foreign nations, leaving the possibility that US citizens can declare themselves the originators of a boycott. However other language makes clear that no boycott is to contravene the US government’s declared trade policy with Israel. To elaborate on the EAR:

Objectives:
The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.

Primary Impact:
The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.

Who Is Covered by the Laws?
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term “U.S. person” includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for “controlled in fact” is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.

The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

These amendments are examples of Israel’s stranglehold on US legislation. Anti-Israel voices like to paint the picture that as a result, American citizens have been denied the freedom to vote with their pocketbooks where it comes to opposing the policies of Israel. Likewise, pro-Israel groups are content to leave the issue ambiguous. But clearly US individuals are free to make consumer choices and encourage others as they wish.

The function of the TRA further explains its business-limited scope:

What do the Laws Prohibit?

Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

• Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.

• Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality.

• Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.

• Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person.

Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.

The TRA does not “prohibit” conduct, but denies tax benefits (“penalizes”) for certain types of boycott-related agreements.

Prohibition is Stupid- there is something wrong with the law

McMarijuana‘Nearly half of all Americans say they have tried marijuana. That makes them criminals in the eyes of the law. Luckily, not all of them have been found out – but when one is grateful that most law-breakers go undetected, there is something wrong with the law.’
 
YES, there is something wrong with the law, when the law is made by elites to deliberately criminalize millions of poor people so as to further brutalize them.

See Financial Times columnist Clive Crook (good name!) writing about Prohibition- A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US

When elites do something as overtly and obviously dysfunctionally stupid as promoting Prohibition and a ‘War on Drugs’ then there is almost always a covert reason for why they are doing it, too. Same is true with all their other war making policies.

When a ‘Global War on Terrorism’ produces more terrorism than it eliminates yet the elites keep on pushing it, then there is a covert reason for doing that, too. What would those covert reasons be? Begging the elites to stop it because their overt reasons don’t add up right just will not succeed. They continue to do what they are doing for hidden reasons, and often even hidden from themselves reasons as well.

One of those hidden reasons is that what the program is really about is building a security apparatus to protect themselves, and not really to be used against drug spread and terrorism spread. They simply need a society blindly following authoritarian orders that are used to keep themselves, the elites, in power. Consider these ‘wars’ as excuses to build a security structure around themselves. It is a welfare program for the building of a group of security ‘servants’ for the top dogs. It is a program to make the lower classes of society more miserable and therefore more demoralized and self-destructive. Demoralized and self-destructive people are less able to rebel when there is military, courts, and police around every corner of their lives.

Regulation, testing, law, and deception

shysterIn America we are seeing a convergence of the meltdown of all capitalist for-profit driven systems breaking down all at once, whether it be the Financial System, the Health System, the Legal System, or the Educational System. At the heart of the problem is that regulations, testing, and law have been turned into their total opposites by the American Business Community, as they search out profits with an unparalleled, in the history of Humankind, greed and avarice.

In Education, we see Big Business mandated testing being used to dis-educate youth. In Finance, we see the regulatory agencies acting to allow fiscal business anarchy. In law, we see the legal code twisting and turning itself around to codify and legalize torture. In the Health System the regulations are being used by the corporate world to protect their abuse of the elderly and sick, rather than to keep that from happening. In short, American capitalism has become most adept at hijacking regulatory systems under their control, and then using them to produce chaos and dysfunction.

NCLB Testing Said to Give ‘Illusions of Progress’ Doesn’t what this article talks about in education seem quite related to the economic meltdown? Pity the youth for the inheritance America is giving them.

This deformed thing we call Justice

America seems poised to possibly elect a law professor into the White House later this year. Funny that this legal specialist, who taught LAW for 10 years at the University of Chicago, has remained strangely silent as the US government instituted torture into its legal codes, eliminated Habeas Corpus, and trampled whole sale on the US Constitution.

I don’t remember a bleep of protest from this legal specialist during these recent times. Where were you Barack Obama? Your specialty is law, you hide that fact??? It’s because you kept so silent, is it not? You and your party are collaborators, aren’t you?

But this is not about Barack Obama and his loud silence. It is about America’s attitudes toward the police. It is about this deformed thing in America we call Justice. It is about how the people trust the police’s word, even though there is so much evidence that the police consistently fabricate testimony, fabricate evidence, and fabricate the supposed need for their own reproduction as a cancer upon our country… one that is growing, growing, growing., just like the military.

I opened up Parade in the Springs GagShit newspaper this morning to see the question posed, ‘Do we need more police?’ Shouldn’t the question actually be, ‘Don’t we need less police?’ or ‘Are we actually safer with this growing number of police plaguing the US?’ What would your answers be to these questions? Please tax me more, I want more jails?

I borrowed this phrase ‘the deformed thing we call Justice’ from Joe Bageant’s column titled Old Dogs and Hard Time Joe is the closest approximation we have today in America, to having a live Junior version of Studs Terkel on hand. His writings always seem to highlight the real working class issues in America, and I love reading him! Power to the People, Joe!

Here is my last question… Can we really have anything other than a deformed ‘justice’ in a country that hates the common person so much? We don’t respect the common people, for all they do is just work without being able to buy that much. How despicable is America’s attitude toward them.

Dominant elite culture thinks it a crime that poor people who work and consider them lowest on the totem pole! Shame on the common people for being so low and poor!, You Guys. It’s a crime these days to be working poor! Don’t you know it?

Yes, many in America really still want to imprison yet more of the poor and working class. For that, we need yet more police, yet more ‘law’, and yet more weaponry. These perverts… this lowe echelon of worker rabble… are seen to be like foreign Muslims almost. Show them no mercy! Yes, that’s what it’s like in America with this deformed thing the powers-that-are call Justice. ‘Justice’, in the opinions of the authoritarian elites, are them ordering the kicking around of the people who actually do the hard work. The poor are considered dumb louts for doing the work we all depend on! They deserve to be punished think so many of the self- righteous, wanna-be top A-holes!

Policing by America’s Reich

Last week it was news about a woman named Hope in New York, whose cousin had called the police because another cousin had sexually molested her. When the police came they ended up arresting the victim, taking her to jail, then assaulted her again with 7-8 heavy and thuggish cops jumping on her, stripping the clothes off her, and leaving her naked in a jail cell!
 
Just yesterday, millions of Americans saw police dump a paralyzed man out of his wheelchair onto the floor of the police station, like he was just so much trash. Where do these attitudes and policing methods come from? How did the cops get to think that this sort of stuff is normal in the US?

These attitudes come out of the airports, out of Guantanamo, out of the Colorado Springs city council, where similar policing attitudes and methods were glossed over when used against elderly St Pat’s Day paraders in the city last year.

I remember Elizabeth being hauled across the pavement just an hour or so after having given her a ride to be there. She could not walk to the area where we were to start the parade and I had had to ask a cop to let my car though the barricade just for her to get to the Bookmobile. Later, after being assaulted by the cops, she had to face the city bringing criminal charges against her in the aftermath… for supposedly being part of a plot to block the parade from going on!

These police attitudes come as the American Reich has begun an electrical arms race across the country, with Taser International being the Lockheed of police weaponry. Our city and county governments think nothing about now spreading these devices into the schools!

These attitudes come from Iraq and Afghanistan, where our bombers drop ordinance down onto children below, just as if they were so much trash. This is policing today, in the American Reich. This is a new system in place, that uses torture on POWs even as our own local city flies flags about American POWs once held in Vietnam from the flag masts of the downtown post office right here in The Springs.

The American Reich doesn’t see the incongruence in their idiotic national pride about being the supposed repository of all democracy as they police as they are now doing. They have become more thuggish in simple increments, and now do not see the distance downhill they have actually traveled.

We live in a scary place and in scary times, but unlike in New York with Hope and here in The Springs with Elizabeth, at least in Florida these cops who dumped the paralyzed man on the floor from his wheelchair are now facing some troubles of their own. Yet, there are many more places where those in charge are totally complicit in the Reich style policing. Foremost among these hot spots of official complicity, is the Congress of the US.

Jamie Leigh Jones is still locked in a box

Jamie Leigh Jones KBR HalliburtonWhen they teach in math class about the square roots of numbers, you invariably encounter the paradox of negative numbers. Since neither two positive factors nor two negatives can produce a negative, you’re told the square root of a negative is “irreducible” and you must leave the equation be. It turns out that this explanation was really a matter of convenience, because later in the year students revisit the square root of -1 and learn it can be called an imaginary number. Now you were expected to solve the equation, and zoom, math took off from there. I remember feeling betrayed that math had become an abstraction, so comfortable was I to be stuck at the simpler impasse.

I use this analogy to contemplate some oversimplifications about law which are being used to temper moral indignation at the machinations of our government. We’re told, for example, that we’ve subverted the rule of law in Iraq, that enemy combatants are not covered by the Geneva Conventions, that Guantanamo Cuba falls neither under Cuban law nor our dominion. We’re told the International Criminal courts do not have jurisdiction over Americans and we’re told our contractor-mercenaries are exempt from anyone’s prosecution. Those legal impediments to justice are not only imaginary, to say it in legalese, they’re balderdash.

My math teacher had a educational reason to maintain that the square root of -1 was unsolvable. Whatever motive does anyone have to keep the American public in the dark about the suspension of human rights?

NBC has just trumpeted the tragic case of Jamie Leigh Jones, but presumes simultaneously to reinforce the aforementioned balderdash. Two years ago Jones was gang raped by KBR coworkers in Iraq and kept in a shipping container until she was able to convince one of her keepers to lend her a cell phone. Her father then called a congressman who called the State Department who sent agents over to KBR’s compound in the Green Zone to set her free. Since that time, the feds have dropped the case, the rape-kit evidence has gone missing, KBR claims it has been ordered to conduct no investigation, and Jones is left with no recourse but to file a civil suit. Now she is being told that an arbitration clause in her contract prevents her from doing even that.

The truths being asserted, as indignant as they might make us feel, are that contractors in Iraq are outside the reach of any law. Specifically Iraqi law, as dictated by Viceroy Bremer’s famous contractor indemnity clause, but by inference, US law, because Iraq is a “sovereign nation,” and International Law, because otherwise our whole country could be held accountable for what it’s perpetrated there.

I’ve even read it asserted that two years marks the expiration of Jone’s right to redress from her attackers. Wherever have you heard of so short a statute of limitation for rape?

Another assumption attempts to bolster the impregnability of arbitration clauses which have become de rigueur in corporate employment contracts. Such clauses may forbid civil litigation, rightfully, but do not preclude responsibility for criminal acts. The supposed ambiguity that Jones’ rape cannot be considered a crime is to build a crock upon a sham. No contract may dictate that a assignee consents to be the victim of a crime. Sorry boys.

Likewise, the concept of Iraq being a lawless state is our Defense Department’s wet dream. We may administrate Iraq like the Wild West, as it may for now be under our screws, but like everywhere else on the globe, Iraq is protected by international law. You might also find lawyers who will argue that any lands under the authority of our government are bound by the US constitution period.

The only thing standing between the KBR miscreants and fair judgment is our government’s determination [not] to apply the law. If the media wanted to report that all Blackwater KBR killer rapists are indemnified exclusively by Bush decree, that would be the truth.

Thank you Miss Jones for pressing on with your accusations and lawsuit. Please don’t let the disinformation discourage you.