Friday, March 20, 2015

Are the bus ad battles coming to an end?

In  2010, King County officials in Seattle initially agreed to accept  an anti-Israel ad  but backed off after getting after considerable  public outcry. Soon afterward  Metro transit system  barred all political advertising on buses. The federal appeals court was asked to determine if the County’s decision violated the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaigns (Seamac) first amendment rights in refusing the ad.   In Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County, 11-35914,  the court  has decided 2-1  that King County Metro Transit did not violate free-speech rights , ruling in the county's favor:

 “The county’s decision to reject SeaMac’s ad was both reasonable and viewpoint neutral, and thus did not violate the First amendment."

Judge Paul Watford, joined by Judge Alex Kozinski  ruled  “Because the county simultaneously rejected all of the proposed ads on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - from opposing viewpoints - no reasonable jury could find that it engaged in viewpoint discrimination” and concluded "We believe the county’s decision to reject  Sea Mac’s ad was indeed reasonable, given the serious threat of disruption running the ad would have posed".

The ninth circuit decision may give our local MUNI an escape clause allowing them to reject the divisive and provocation ads promoted by such fringe groups Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine

1 comment:

Kia Myers said...

let me put it this way. I was in Seattle for 3 days last summer. in those three days I saw close to a dozen hijabs and full burkas. when I was in Seattle last before that it was 7 years ago and I was there for a full week and I didn't see one hijab or burka. I shudder to think what i'll see if I were to go back to Seattle a few years from now.