August 14, 2018
A collection of leading free-speech, open government, and environmental advocates joins a growing list backing former Martin County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla as she appeals a judgment entered against her for questioning the environmental benefits of a rock mining project near Lake Okeechobee. Eight organizations and individuals are now asking permission to join the Florida First Amendment Foundation’s request to file a friend-of-the-court brief, adding their weight to the push for justice for Hurchalla.
The latest organizations seeking to weigh in on the case include the Florida Press Association, Florida Society of News Editors, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Women Voters, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Joining them is private free-speech advocate Fane Lozman, a Floridian who has brought cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Together, they have filed a motion for permission to join an amicus curiae brief of the First Amendment Foundation.
“The First Amendment Foundation is proud to support Maggy Hurchalla in her appeal and her fight to protect her First Amendment rights. We’re doubly proud, too, to be joined in our support by citizen-activist Fane Lozman and a robust and diverse group of public service organizations from across Florida,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation. “We encourage citizens to engage with their government, and they should feel free to express concerns without the fear of being bullied or coerced into silence. By standing up, by refusing to be bullied, Maggy Hurchalla stands up for all of us and our First Amendment right to petition our government. We owe Maggy not only our support but our deepest gratitude.”