Today, the ACLU of Wisconsin is celebrating the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
We celebrated in Milwaukee by distributing copies of the Bill of Rights and U.S. Flags on the public area outside the State of Wisconsin Office Building at 819 N. Sixth Street.
Because of a new Department of Administration policy, this may be the last time we’ll be able to celebrate in this public area without a permit. The new DOA state facilities access policy, which covers the Milwaukee State Office building as well as the State Capitol in Madison, unduly restricts First Amendment activities.
The ACLU of Wisconsin believes the new policy is too restrictive, gives authorities too much discretion based on content, requires too high a price for free speech, and is too obviously designed to protect public officials from public criticism.
The new policy requires groups as small as four or anyone seeking to distribute literature to get a permit. In addition, groups would be liable for extra police costs based on the content of their speech. We urge the Department to re-write the new policy so that it passes constitutional muster.
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