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Today in legal history...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Third Circuit overturned Pittsburgh-area canvasser registration ordinance
Dwyer Arce at 12:00 AM ET

On April 28, 2006, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania ordinance requiring canvassers to register with police before going door to door. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit on behalf of a local of the Service Employees International Union involved in a get-out-the-vote campaign for the 2004 presidential election. A federal court judge had upheld the ordinance in 2004, but the appeals court concluded that "the challenged ordinance is not tailored to serve Mt. Lebanon's legitimate interest in preventing crime and fraud." The court also found that the ordinance "substantially burden[ed] a broad range of speech which enjoys the highest level of First Amendment protection."

Learn more about the First Amendment from the JURIST news archive.

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