Today, April 16, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed a lawsuit to protect the rights of free speech and assembly on the public sidewalks around the Bruce R. Thompson United States Courthouse and Federal Building in Reno. The First Amendment protects the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
Before individuals can exercise their free speech rights on the public sidewalks around the Thompson Federal Building, they are currently required to obtain a permit. However, public sidewalks are a traditional public forum protected by the First Amendment. The government cannot limit or regulate speech in a public forum.
"Restricting speech in public forums violates the fundamental idea of free speech," said Katrina Ross, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Nevada. "The government cannot tell you what you can and cannot say in a public space."