House Republicans lose decision on sign bans – Tennessee Lookout

Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Anne Martin has ruled that the holding of small signs in House of Representatives’ galleries and committee meeting rooms is protected by the First Amendment.

“Although the Court appreciates the General Assembly’s desire to maintain decorum and prevent disruptions in it’s proceedings, the Court cannot conclude that the rule banning signs is reasonable in light of the purpose it could legitimately serve,” Martin wrote in her Monday decision. “The rule is so broad that it encompasses behavior that is not disruptiveg, as  is the case here.”

“Although the Court appreciates the General Assembly’s desire to maintain decorum and prevent disruptions in it’s proceedings, the Court cannot conclude that the rule banning signs is reasonable in light of the purpose it could legitimately serve,” Martin wrote in her Monday decision. “The rule is so broad that it encompasses behavior that is not disruptiveg, as is the case here.”

The decision means members of the public may carry signs in the House during the course of the specially-called session on public safety. Tennessee House Republicans passed the sign ban in a set of rules that also allow House Speaker Cameron Sexton to silence lawmakers deemed disruptive.
House Sign Rule Decision

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