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Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Johnson v. Iowa Dep’t of Pub. Safety, No. 4:20-cv-00306-RGE-CFB (S.D. Iowa Dec. 10, 2020)

Date Enacted: December 2020
Country: United States
Region: North America

After plaintiffs were banned “from the Iowa State Capitol and Capitol Complex grounds for periods ranging from six months to one year” following a protest, they sought “an order preliminarily enjoining Defendants from enforcing bans prohibiting [their] entry to the Capitol and Capitol Complex.”  Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction was granted on the basis that the bans: “likely burden more speech than is necessary to achieve the significant state interests of preventing violence and ensuring public safety” and “provide no process by which Plaintiffs can petition to exercise their First Amendment rights at the Capitol or on the Capitol Complex grounds.” The decision specifically notes that: “an exercise of free expression is an essential part of our country’s history and traditions,” that “the exercise of free expression within a traditional public forum, like the State Capitol, is in the public interest,” and “the public interest in protecting the right to freedom of expression.” The decision also notes that “[t]he public . . .  has a significant interest in peaceful assembly . . .”