New York Federal Court Strikes Down ‘Demeaning’ Speech Restriction; MTA Must Run Advertisement Opposing Jihad and Supporting Israel. The controversial AFDI Ad (below) is not only protected speech, it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict.
New York, New York (July 20, 2012) — Earlier today, Federal Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled that the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) restriction on “demeaning” speech was unconstitutional. The MTA had refused to run an anti-jihad advertisement that, according to the MTA, referred to Israel’s enemies as savages who engaged in jihad. The MTA flagged the advertisement that was set to run on the exterior of its buses, claiming that it violated the MTA’s policy against displaying “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age,disability or sexual orientation.”
The court struck down the MTA’s speech restriction as a violation of the First Amendment because the MTA, as a governmental agency, was permitting politically controversial speech, even demeaning speech, but not speech that demeaned specific groups or individuals that fit within the MTA’s protected classes (in this case, Muslims embracing savage jihad). READ MORE
The other (Pro-Islam) Lame Stream Media were not exactly cheering the First Amendment victory.