Florida First Amendment Case Could Be A Game-Changer

WUSF News by Susan Giles Wantuck

July 5, 2018

Floridian Fane Lozman has a rare track record at the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s 2-0.

Lozman recently won a First Amendment case that he carried all the way to the nation’s highest court.

It happened after the Riviera Beach City Council tried to silence him during his turn at a public comment period, about 15 seconds into his talk.

Barbara Petersen of the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation said her group filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. She said Chief Justice John Roberts watched the YouTube video of Lozman’s arrest at the city council meeting and called it “chilling.”

Petersen said while “the opinion was complicated, but it’s a critically important case for citizen activists.”

In her words, “the big issue is now the government has to think twice now before they arrest you for peaceably exercising your First Amendment right.”

Petersen said it’s important to note that Lozman was not violent or threatening when the city council had him taken out in handcuffs.

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