Volunteers blocked from 2005 Bush event for “No More Blood for Oil” lose at the Supreme Court

Oct 12, 2010 3:14pm

ABC's Ariane DeVogue reports:

The Supreme Court refused today to get involved in a lawsuit filed by  two people who claim they were blocked from attending a speech by President Bush in 2005 solely because of a bumper sticker on their car that read, “No More Blood for Oil.”

The action allows a lower court ruling that dismissed the case to stand.

 Leslie Weise and Alex Young filed the suit against two Bush volunteers claiming that their free speech rights had been violated when the volunteers escorted them from the speech.  The Bush volunteers said they were acting on the direction of government officials.

Weise and Young claimed they had no intention of disrupting  the event which was open to the public.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor disagreed with today’s decision and filed an unusual written dissent

“I cannot see how reasonable public officials, or any staff or volunteers under their direction , could have viewed the bumper sticker as a permissible reason for depriving Weise and Young of access to the event.” Ginsburg wrote referring to the speech  held in Denver.

“Their presence alone cannot have affected the President’s message. Therefore, ejecting them for holding discordant views could only have been a reprisal  for the expression conveyed by the bumper sticker.”

The ACLU,   representing Weise and Young, issued a statement criticizing the majority’s decision but expressing hope because another case against the government officials who made the decision to eject Weise and Young remains pending in lower courts. 

"While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court will not review such a clear violation of First Amendment rights at this time, today's denial of certiorari leaves open the possibility that the issue will one day come before the Court. The notion that the government can exclude anyone it chooses from such an event, just because their point of view is at odds with that of the president, is unconstitutional and un-American. We are confident that the wrong done to Leslie Weise and Alex Young will one day be righted."

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