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Principale » Carafem Joins ACLU in Lawsuit Against DC Metro Over First Amendment Violations

Carafem Joins ACLU in Lawsuit Against DC Metro Over First Amendment Violations

10 Août 2017

The lawsuit claims the advertising guidelines are in violation of the First and 14th amendments and violate free speech rights, are arbitrarily enforced and are unconstitutionally vague.

Carafem's rejected ad read: "10-week-after pill".

Current Metro guidelines, established in 2015 following a controversy concerning anti-muslim advertisements, prohibit "support or oppose an industry position or industry goal without any direct commercial benefit to the advertiser", and ads "intended to influence public policy", among others. The metro now has ads up for a sustainable energy company.

The ACLU says Metro rejected their series of ads that displayed the text of the First Amendment in English, Spanish and Arabic.

"This case highlights the consequences of the government's attempt to suppress all controversial speech on public transit property", Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the ACLU-DC and lead counsel in the case, said in a statement.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU asks that Metro run the rejected ads in stations and on trains and buses. "But together, they powerfully illustrate the indivisibility of the First Amendment", said the ACLU, which is a national organization that works daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend the individual rights and liberties.

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Washington, D.C.'s transit system is being sued over its refusal to feature ads for Milo Yiannopoulos, an abortion provider and PETA.

Metro originally ran the advertisements for Yiannopoulous' book but pulled them a few days later after receiving negative feedback from riders.

"In its zeal to avoid hosting offensive and hateful speech, the government has eliminated speech that makes us think, including the text of the First Amendment itself", says Lee Rowland, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, in a press release.

The ACLU said that Metro is enforcing its advertising guidelines capriciously, and that the prohibitions outlined in the guidelines are far too broad and wide-reaching.

The ACLU contends that even seemingly innocuous advertisements for leather products, medical services and other books are not without their own presumed politics, even on controversial issues.

In 2015, following criticism of racist anti-Islam station ads, Metro reviewed their policies and made a decision to prohibit all "issue-oriented ads". "See the Individual. Go Vegan". "And it's way to get your message to people who might not otherwise see it, and that's a very valuable thing to our society".

Carafem Joins ACLU in Lawsuit Against DC Metro Over First Amendment Violations