Monday, November 29, 2004

MBTA's rejection of ads violated free speech, court rules

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's rejection of ads promoting marijuana reform violated the First Amendment, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today. Rejection of the ads -- submitted by Change the Climate Inc. -- constituted viewpoint discrimination, the court said. "The bedrock principle of viewpoint neutrality demands that the state not suppress speech where the real rationale for the restriction is disagreement with the underlying ideology or perspective that the speech expresses," the court explained. In the same decision, the circuit court ruled that the MBTA did not violate the First Amendment in rejecting ads from a religious group.

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