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Unlikely pair ACLU, tea party win free speech case

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June 21, 2011 02:06 PM EST | AP


REDDING, Calif. — A pair of unlikely political allies has succeeded in sinking an ordinance that restricted when and where pamphlets could be handed out in front of a Northern California city library.

Shasta County Judge Monica Marlow agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union and the North State Tea Party Alliance that Redding's new policy was unconstitutional.

The groups said free speech protections trumped rules requiring reservations for leafleting, limiting where information could be distributed and prohibiting pamphleteers from approaching patrons.

The Record Searchlight of Redding reports Marlow on Monday affirmed her tentative ruling that found the ordinance violated the state constitution.

Redding City Attorney Rick Duvernay argued the library should be considered a quiet place where people seek information rather than a public forum where ideas are pushed upon them.