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Free Speech Coalition will take Parade Ordinance suit to 5th Circuit

At an emotional meeting at the Esperanza last night, the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition and the International Women's Day March Planning Committee announced that they will appeal this week's ruling on the City's Parade Ordinance to the 5th Circuit. Late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery granted the City's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which charges that the ordinance, passed in 2007 and amended following an injunction in 2008, prevents the exercise of free speech through excessive costs, favoritism, and inadequate alternatives for cash-poor groups.

"I was extremely disappointed that the judge chose to dismiss our challenge to the policies without any explanation or discussion of any of the constitutional issues," said Coalition attorney Amy Kastly. "I believe that one of the most important aspects of the law in a democracy is the judge's obligation to explain the reasons for his decision. We don't have a system of raw power where someone can make decisions that affect people's fundamental rights without the obligation to explain."

You can read it for yourself here. And if you're out at CAM First Friday tomorrow, watch for Free Speech Coalition flyers announcing an August 8 rally. The appeal will be filed by July 29 and the City will then have 30 days to respond.

* Current intern Alicia Ramirez provided the bulk of the reporting for this blog post. Go, Alicia! She would have posted it herself but she's busy working on a badass interactive graphic for next week's paper. It's top secret, but make sure you check back next Wednesday.

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