Skip to comments.OCEANSIDE: Judge orders Minutemen's Adopt-A-Highway permit reinstated
Posted on 06/28/2008 7:02:25 AM PDT by RightField
OCEANSIDE ---- A federal judge on Friday ordered the state Transportation Department to let a controversial group of anti-illegal immigration activists pick up litter near a Border Patrol checkpoint.
In a 34-page order, Judge William Q. Hayes granted the San Diego Minutemen's request for a preliminary injunction that gives Caltrans 30 days to reinstate the group's Adopt-A-Highway permit for a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 5 near San Clemente.
The state also must restore the courtesy sign bearing the Minutemen's name, the judge ruled.
The judge's decision enables the North County group to once again pick up trash alongside the busy freeway while its lawsuit against Caltrans officials is pending.
"We expected that on all counts," said the Minutemen's attorney, Howard Kaloogian, when he learned of the judge's decision from a reporter Friday night. "This basically tells us that our case is solid and will probably win on the merits."
The state's Adopt-A-Highway program allows individuals, organizations and businesses to clean stretches of roadway that meet certain safety standards. The groups are recognized with simple roadside signs.
In November, Caltrans made national news when it granted the Minutemen, a group that has gained wide publicity for protesting day-labor hiring sites, permission to clean the northbound stretch of I-5.
Immigrant-rights activists and some state legislators complained. In January, Caltrans revoked the Minutemen's permit, citing safety concerns.
The agency offered to relocate the group to a less-visible stretch of Highway 52. Instead, the Minutemen sued to get the original site back. The group's attorneys accused Caltrans of caving to political pressure and violating its members' free speech rights.
In March, Caltrans removed that stretch of I-5 from the cleanup program altogether.
In granting the preliminary injunction, Hayes determined that the activists have a "high probability of success" on the merits of their First Amendment claim and said it was in the public's interest to grant the injunction.
Hayes said Caltrans' justification for revoking the permit was "not reasonable." There is "little, if any, evidence" that the Minutemen's participation would endanger the public, he said.
Caltrans attorneys had asked the judge to dismiss the Minutemen's lawsuit. While Hayes dismissed the agency as a defendant, he did not do the same for its top officials.
Caltrans officials could not be reached for comment late Friday. In a court hearing in May, Caltrans attorney Jeffrey Benowitz argued that because the Minutemen could apply to clean up any other stretch of road in the program, they "have been denied nothing."
Last week, Caltrans suspended all new Adopt-A-Highway applications. The agency announced that it was re-evaluating the program's guidelines.
Contact staff writer Craig TenBroeck at (760) 901-4062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
But it's O.K. for groups like these to be recognized...
Nothing irritates me more when these lib hack bureaucrats do something completely illegal and unconstitutional, and then try to justify it via some murky explanation of "safety concerns."
Good decision by the court. Bad day for the pro amnesty bunch ... LOL
I don't think you need anyone's permission to pick up trash off of the highway.
What the judge ruled, though, was that their name be put up on the state sign recognizing their civic zeal.
“I don’t think you need anyone’s permission to pick up trash off of the highway.”
On a freeway in California you go to jail without permission.
Walk, ride a bicycle, or drive a vehicle under a certain horsepower and you get one very expensive ticket.
Why are people who simply ask that Federal law be followed, considered “controversial?
A classic example of free speech rights in a leftist (Obamamessiah) universe. We won a tremendous victory in Heller on Thursday, but I don’t think I’ll let my guns get rusty just yet.
Last I had heard, CALTRANS had ended the Adopt-A-Highway state-wide just to avoid giving a stretch of road to the Minute Men. This is good news.
If more public officials had to worry about loosing the farm when they pull B.S. like this, they would be a lot more faithful to the U.S. Constitution.
Good for this judge.
Scroll down for up-to-date text listing of incidents.
Great link! My favorite incident ... “MESA - Sheriff Joe and Posse Begin Immigration Sweeps.”
It is a great link. I think it might deserve a post of its own.
A good first step. Second step is to now go personally after the SOB or SOB’s who came up with the decision to single out the Minutemen for punitive treatment. Take their homes, their pensions, ability to generate income and anything else not nailed down. Too many psychos loose in all levels of government pushing personal agendas being allowed to hide behind government shields when they don’t deserve it.
Even the good guys get to score a good one every once and in a while. Good news indeed.
The Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. They were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.