ACLU-TN Disappointed with Ruling Limiting The Contributor’s Free Speech in Brentwood

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2012

CONTACT
Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director, (615) 320-7142

NASHVILLE – Late yesterday U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell dismissed a lawsuit filed against the City of Brentwood by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee on behalf of The Contributor and two of its vendors for violation of their rights to freedom of speech and press.

The lawsuit argued that the City of Brentwood’s ordinance violates the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press by prohibiting The Contributor from distributing its newspaper in traditional public fora and sharing its message in Brentwood.

The Contributor, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization, is a street newspaper that focuses on issues surrounding homelessness and poverty. The papers are sold by homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

The lawsuit, The Contributor et. al., v. The City of Brentwood, was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. ACLU-TN filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Contributor and vendors Calvin Hart and Andrew Harrington, who were cited under the Brentwood ordinance.

The following can be attributed to Irwin Venick of Dobbins, Venick, Kuhn & Byassee, American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee Cooperating Attorney:

“We are very disappointed with the court’s decision because we believe it limits freedom of speech and press. Brentwood’s ordinance unfairly targets The Contributor and its vendors, broadly restricting the very type of face-to-face speech central to the paper’s mission of fostering dialogue about homelessness with people who have experienced it. We are currently evaluating the decision and weighing our options.”

2017-03-28T06:53:48-05:00 November 14th, 2012|Categories: Press Releases|