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Christian Defense Coalition Responds to Loss of Federal Lawsuit Regarding Free Speech Rights on Washington, D.C. Public Sidewalks

“Free speech is becoming a endangered species in America -- the second victim of 9/11 is the First Amendment,” -- Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney

Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition, 202-547-1735, 540-538-4741 cell

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Christian Defense Coalition calls the decision of Federal Judge Royce Lamberth “a slap in the face to free speech and a trampling of the First Amendment.”

 

Group says it should not be up to a federal judge to decide how and where Americans are allowed to demonstrate in public.  That right was given to us by the Constitution.

 

Rev. Mahoney was arrested in the fall of 2003 for holding a sign of the Ten Commandments on a public sidewalk in front of St. Matthew’s Cathedral. 

 

Rev. Mahoney was told, by the United States Marshals Service, he could stand on the public sidewalk just as long he was not holding a sign of the Ten Commandments. When he refused to put down the sign of the Ten Commandments, he was immediately arrested.  This is censorship in its most ugly form.

 

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition states, “This is a sad day for free speech and the First Amendment in America.  Sadly, we are seeing an erosion of First Amendment rights under the guise of ‘national security.’  With his decision, Judge Lamberth has crushed the First Amendment and trampled the right to peacefully assemble.  I am greatly concerned that the second victim of 9/11 is the First Amendment.

 

“To prove this point, I was arrested on a public sidewalk for simply holding a sign of the Ten Commandments.  I was told by the United States Marshals that I could stand on that sidewalk as long as I put down the sign of the Ten Commandments.  In other words, I was not arrested for my conduct but for my message and beliefs.  This decision should terrify anyone who loves freedom and the First Amendment.

 

“Do the federal courts now consider the public display of the Ten Commandments a national security threat?

 

“I would also remind  Judge Lamberth, who clearly needs to reread the First Amendment, that it should not be up to a federal judge to tell American citizens where they are to peacefully express their views within the public square.

 

“Will citizens next be excluded from the public sidewalk because of the color of their skin?”

 

For more information or interviews call: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney,   202.547.1735, Cell: 540.538.4741

 

Background:

 

AP Report: Federal judge upholds protest restrictions outside D.C. Mass

 

Court Decision: Mahoney v. U.S. Marshals Service