A federal judge on Thursday scrapped the city of Cleveland’s plans for a heightened-security zone that would have encompassed most of downtown during the Republican National Convention, saying that the restrictions are burdensome to people who want to express their free-speech rights. U.S. District Judge James Gwin’s ruling comes 25 days before Republican delegates and leaders will descend upon Cleveland and forces the city to redraw the boundaries to the so-called “event zone,” which would have encompassed a 3.5-square-mile area at the heart of the city.
The city indicated it would appeal the judge’s order, but the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which brought the lawsuit, said the organization’s attorneys are now negotiating at the judge’s behest to come up with a compromise because of the short timeframe.
Gwin made his ruling orally, following a hearing. He said a written opinion would follow.
… ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link praised the judge’s ruling. She said “the clock is ticking” before the convention — which will take place July 18-21 — and hopes that the city and the ACLU can come to an agreement on a new event zone. Gwin had suggested the city and ACLU negotiate to avoid further litigation.
Full Article: Federal judge overturns Cleveland’s restrictions on RNC protests | cleveland.com.