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Home » D.C. transit authority ban on controversial ads violates First Amendment concludes judge

Capitol Communicator reports that a federal judge ruled in favor of a Christian nonprofit in a First Amendment suit against Washington’s transit authority,.

D.C. transit authority ban on controversial ads violates First Amendment concludes judge

by | May 22, 2024

A federal judge ruled in favor of a Christian nonprofit in a First Amendment suit against Washington’s transit authority, blocking a policy that prohibited the group’s ad campaign, reports Courthouse News.

The suit, continues the report, brought by Texas-based nonprofit WallBuilders in December 2023, “challenged a decision by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to reject an advertising campaign seeking to promote the founders’ Christian faith.

“WallBuilders claimed two of the transit authority’s policies, Guidelines 9 and 12, violated its First Amendment rights.

“U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, a Barack Obama appointee, found the most issue with Guideline 9, specifically its vague language and the transit authority’s seeming lack of consistency in applying it.

“Guideline 9 prohibits advertisements intended to influence people on an issue where there are “varying opinions.” Guideline 12 prohibits advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, practice or belief.

“Howell pointed to three examples of approved ads cited by WallBuilders: an Instacart ad promoting the Plan B contraceptive pill; a public service ad from D.C. Health promoting Covid-19 vaccines; and a Power to the Patients ad advocating for lower and more transparent hospital pricing.

“She found that each example related to an issue with “varying opinions,” yet were still approved by the transit authority.”

More here.

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