Image: The liberation of free speech | Gary Conkling Life Notes
The City of East Lansing City Council at its regularly scheduled board meeting held a closed-door session on a Thomas More Society federal lawsuit. Afterward, they met and adopted a resolution to issue a moratorium, so the ordinance they had enacted would have no effect until the moratorium is lifted.
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The effect of the moratorium is immediate relief for the Thomas More Society client who did not wish to be compelled to provide voter information to tenants.
As reported here earlier, TMS filed a lawsuit on March 16, claiming the city was violating its plaintiff landlord’s First Amendment rights to free speech. The government, the claim stated, cannot compel a private citizen to serve as its courier or speak on its behalf.
The moratorium is the City of East Lansing’s first step toward repealing the ordinance.
Erick Kaardal, special counsel to TMS, said he was pleased with the outcome. “The City of East Lansing showed election integrity by voting for a moratorium to repeal the ordinance compelling landlords to provide voter information to tenants. It is a big victory following victories against similar ordinances in St. Paul and Minneapolis. We now have similar ordinances in Ypsilanti and Madison in our sights.”
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