SAN ANTO: Free Speech Coalition prepare for Oral Argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals – April 17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Amanda Haas

Monday, April 12, 2010 210.228.0201

International Women’s Day March & S.A. Free Speech Coalition
prepare for
Oral Argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals

On Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm, the International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee & S.A. Free Speech Coalition will present an oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the case of International Women’s Day March & S.A. Free Speech Coalition v. San Antonio. To prepare for this historic occasion, the International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee & S.A. Free Speech Coalition will host a Mock Trial at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, (922 San Pedro, 78212), on April 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm.

In the next few weeks, the City of San Antonio will send the International Women’s Day March Planning Committee a bill that SAPD has estimated will be somewhere between $1,500 and $7,500. The fight against the City’s efforts to charge thousands of dollars for those street marches bearing messages challenging the City and others with power and influence continues.

The City of San Antonio currently requires some marching permit applicants to pay thousands of dollars for traffic control while waiving all costs for permit holders whose message is endorsed by City officials. The International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition brought a federal lawsuit against the City, alleging that this policy is unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Xavier Rodriguez initially enjoined the City from enforcing this policy, but in March 2009, Judge Fred Biery dissolved the injunction and in June, he entered Summary Judgment for the City, without addressing or deciding any of the legal issues raised by the lawsuit. The International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition appealed the Summary Judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and oral argument on this appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeals on April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm.

“It is good news that the Court set the case for oral argument, because the City opposed our oral argument request, and a case is set for oral argument only when the Court determines that the case presents substantial legal issues,” writes attorney Amy Kastely in a recent issue of La Voz de Esperanza. “Less than 20% of the cases filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are set for oral argument,” continues Kastely.

The Mock Trial takes place on Saturday, April 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center at 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, Texas, 78212. Due to overwhelming community interest in this issue, a people’s caravan will travel to New Orleans for the oral argument to represent the San Antonio community, and will be accepting donations towards this costly trip. For more information or interview requests contact Amanda Haas at esperanza or (210) 228-0201.

What: Mock Trial

Where: Esperanza Center, 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX, 78212

When: Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Cost: FREE (donations accepted)

Mock Trial Press Release.doc

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