Skip to comments.Judge rules bus line wrong to deny atheist ads
Posted on 08/12/2011 5:05:50 PM PDT by LonelyCon
A federal judge ruled on Thursday that the free speech of a coalition of atheists had been violated when Little Rock's public bus line denied them the right to place $5,000 worth of ads on city buses.
Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency should not have denied the group the right to place the ads on 18 publicly-funded city buses during Memorial Day weekend.
Washington-based United Coalition of Reason filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Arkansas group in June after the transit authority and its advertising agency rejected
The transit authority and its advertising agency, On The Move Advertising, had required payment of a $36,000 deposit to run the ad. The group then changed that to a $3 million insurance policy in case of bus vandalism by angry Christians.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
One more reason to dislike public (taxpayer funded) transportation.
Society’s scumbags win another one in their big “In Your Face” campaign against decent Americans.
I wonder if the courts would force the buses to run ads that said muhammad doesn’t exist?
That is the next test if the scumbags are awarded "the right" to advertise...
Seems to me the bus co would have to be copacetic with pro religious ads as well, now. Like cowardly bullies suddenly faced with Mohammed Ali, the atheists will run with their tails between their legs.
Wrong, it was the wrong decision. The courts have no right to tell a privately owned company who they can or cannot do business with. Secondly, the constitution does not forbid private citizens from stopping some one's 1st amendment rights, only the government is forbidden to do so.
This ruling is just another screw up from a left wing judge.
(Not meaning to imply a pro-Islam message, except inasmuch as any general theist message would doubtless get some Islamic support.)
The reasoning, inasmuch as it can be called that, seems to be that since the city gives that bus line a monopoly, the bus line becomes a spokes arm of the city.
.....when Little Rock's public bus line denied them the right to place $5,000 worth of ads on city buses.
What evidence do you have that indicates that Central Arkansas Transit Authority is a private company?
This was a bad decision and if a Christian group had wanted to buy space and had been denied, I would bet the same judge would have found for the Bus company.
Try reading all comments before running your mouth. I have no evidence it is private, but I have plenty of evidence it is also not a member of congress, therefore cannot be held responsible, or punished, for denying ad space to anyone they choose. The judge was wrong, period.
Whatever. I never thought that God needed to advertise. Same goes for the atheists. I just dont consider salvation to be a marketing issue.
Sounds like you’re a bit angry right now, but I’ll jump in for a second and say that, whether you like it of not, a public bus company is indeed a government entity. Cities and towns and regional governments — including regional planning districts — are all subsidiaries of the state they are in. (That means they hold only the powers specifically granted by the states).
And the Bill of Rights (including the First Amendment) have almost all been applied to limit the actions of state government over the years by the Supreme Court.
But don’t take my word for it. If you really believe that the First Amendment only applies to members of congress, does that mean that you believe the president has the constitutional authority to direct the military to prohibit you from practicing your religion, since he’s not a member of congress and the Constitution clearly states he is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces?
Sorry, I meant regional transit districts (i.e. busses), not regional planning districts in my previous post.
There's a lot of case law on stuff like this, so the written documents aren't the end of the matter. State governments can certainly limit speech on their property, depending on the use of the property. For example, the state cannot deprive you of freedom of speech in the public way, but they can deprive you of freedom of speech on many types of publicly-owned property.
However, they cannot, under most circumstances, restrict speech only for certain people or groups, while allowing speech by others on the same property. That's where they ran afoul of the law in this case. If they didn't want to allow atheists to advertise on their buses, barring a reason that would stand judicial review, they would have to get rid of all advertisements on the buses.