Supreme Court

Supreme Court Hears Free Speech Case of Protest on Government Easement

Man blocked from protesting near, but not actually on, military base


Dennis Apel has been a longtime critic of U.S. military policy and for 17 years has protested around Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"It's completely immoral what's happening there," he says. "I'm not the threat" to anyone on the government reservation or its mission. "They think what I have to say is the threat."

His message of peace and the conflict it has created with Obama administration officials have now taken Apel and his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue is whether someone previously barred from a military base may be convicted under federal law for "peacefully protesting" on a public road easement along the enclosed high-security facility.