From Yisroel Markov@21:1/5 to All on Tue Mar 8 23:33:47 2016
Pamela Geller's outfit, American Freedom Defense Initiative, is known
for placing anti-jihad ads where it can, and the related litigation.
Today, the Supreme Court refused to take its case: --------------------------------
At issue in American Freedom Defense Initiative v. King County is the
Seattle metropolitan area transit authority's decision to refuse to
run an advertisement that featured the faces of 16 terrorists wanted
by the federal government accompanied by their names and the message,
"AFDI Wants You to Stop a Terrorist. The FBI Is Offering Up To $25
Million Reward If You Help Capture One Of These Jihadis." [...]
In the present case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
ruled in favor of the Seattle-area system and its rejection of the controversial "wanted poster" ad. As the 9th Circuit observed, the
plaintiffs "contend that the advertising space on buses is a
designated public forum. We disagree." Yet several other federal
circuits have reached the opposite conclusion. According to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, for example,
once a public transit authority decides to accept "political
advertising" it "has converted its subway stations into public fora."
At that point, the D.C. Circuit argued, the First Amendment kicks in.
[...] It was this circuit split that apparently captured the interest
of Justice Clarence Thomas.
"Materially similar public transit advertising programs should not
face such different First Amendment constraints based on geographical happenstance," Thomas wrote today. In Thomas' view, the Supreme Court
had no business "shy[ing] away from this First Amendment case. It
raises an important constitutional question on which there is an
acknowledged and well-developed division among the Courts of Appeals.
One of this Court"s most basic functions," Thomas declared, "is to
resolve this kind of question."