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Friday, July 20, 2012

Judge slams New York MTA for rejecting ads from Jewish group

Pam Geller wins big in a New York courtroom on Friday.
The group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, had wanted to place text-only advertisements that said, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

Then, between two Stars of David, the advertisement said: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The transportation agency said that the ad violated its prohibition on advertisements that demeaned individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and several other listed categories. The group was given the opportunity to revise the advertisement, but it refused, arguing that the “no-demeaning standard” was a violation of the First Amendment.

The judge, Paul A. Engelmayer of United States District Court, said in a 35-page opinion that the agency’s standards would still permit ads that contained demeaning language as long as it demeaned people or groups outside of the characteristics or circumstances included in the prohibited list. He even offered examples, like “Blondes are bimbos,” “Lawyers are sleazebags” or “Upper West Siders are elitist snobs.”

Judge Engelmayer noted that the agency’s rules would even allow the use of the word “savage,” the objectionable word in the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s proposed advertisement, as long as it demeaned a group not included in the prohibited list.

“Whatever weight might be assigned to the governmental interest in banning demeaning speech on the exterior of New York City buses on an even-handed basis,” the judge wrote, “there is no good reason for protecting some individuals and groups, but not others, from such abuse.”

He said that the agency’s “no demeaning” language standard, “as currently formulated, is, therefore, inconsistent with the First Amendment.”
AFDI is Pam's group.

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At 9:33 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

I wonder how much this lawsuit cost the MTA? And knowing the costs of these suits why they keep doing the same thing over and over again?


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