Federal judge declares city ordinance barring distribution of religious literature unconstitutional
Christians no longer subject to fines for expressing faith in public
Thursday, October 12, 2006
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — People sharing their faith through use of religious literature in Granite City will no longer have to fear a citation from police. A federal judge ruled Oct. 5 that a city ordinance banning placement of handbills and other literature on vehicle or private property without consent of the owner violated the Constitution.
“Under the U.S. Constitution, religious speech is not second-class,” said ADF-allied attorney Jason Craddock. “The judge ruled rightly in upholding the First Amendment rights of those who wish to share their views, including religious views, by means of the printed page.”
Donald Horina filed suit against the city in 2005 after he was ticketed by police for offering a pro-life tract through a vehicle’s window two years earlier. The incident occurred outside an abortion clinic. Horina was ticketed under a Granite City ordinance which forbade any public distribution of handbills or other literature except advertising. Horina was fined $100 after the citation was applied under a different city ordinance. U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan granted Horina’s motion for a preliminary injunction in May 2005, temporarily prohibiting Granite City from enforcing that ordinance. the rest