Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – March 29, 2021 – With its appeal for a hearing denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, the City of Oklahoma City has lost the final battle in its efforts to enforce an unconstitutional ban on free speech. Cited as an anti-panhandling ordinance, the measure also affected the Oklahoma Libertarian Party (OKLP), which uses city medians as a platform from which to spread its message and was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“It is claimed the measure was necessary for traffic safety,” stated OKLP Chair Kevin Hobbie. “In reality, it was a shameful attempt to mask the homeless problem in the city while also stomping out political speech”.
Hobbie believes the medians are established public forums and protected by the First Amendment.
“Suppressing sign-waving, petitioning, and collecting donations is an assault on one of America’s most cherished liberties”.
The Oklahoma Libertarian Party responded to this ordinance by joining Calvin McGraw, G. Wayne Marshall, the Red Dirt Report, and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City of Oklahoma City.
“Using your tax dollars to fight in court, the city was handed defeat by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Kevin Hobbie.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down their decision in factor of the plaintiffs on August 21, 2020. The matter was settled on March 29, 2021 when the US Supreme Court denied the city’s attempt to have their case heard.
“This isn’t our victory,” Hobbie proclaimed. “This is a victory for the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Hobbie believes the Oklahoma Libertarian Party is the voice of freedom in our state.
“Government cannot be permitted to infringe upon the natural or constitutionally-protected rights of any person,” Hobbie stated. “Join us in defending the rights of all Oklahomans, including the smallest minority: the individual”.