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August 23, 2023

August 23, 2023 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County judge has blocked enforcement of a Tennessee House of Representatives rule for the special session that bans signs in the galleries of the House.  

The ruling comes in a response to an ACLU of Tennessee lawsuit filed on behalf of three Tennesseans who were forced to leave a Tennessee House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday by state troopers for quietly holding 8 ½ x 11 inch pieces of paper  expressing their opinions on issues before the subcommittee. 

The plaintiffs were forced out under rules adopted by the Tennessee House of Representatives for the special session that ban signs in the galleries of the House of Representatives, denying the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to speak freely, assemble and petition the government under the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions. 

The emergency injunction blocks enforcement of the sign rule while the lawsuit proceeds. 

The following can be attributed to ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Kathryn Sinback: 

“We applaud the court for taking swift action to protect the free speech rights of Tennesseans. Democracy depends on people’s ability to express their opinions to their elected representatives on issues they care about, and this unreasonable rule stood in the way of people fully participating in the democratic process.”