Uncategorized

More from ACLU on controversial bus ad policy in Chapel Hill

The ACLU of North Carolina issued a new statement today about Chapel Hill’s controversial censorship of bus advertisements: 

ACLU: Chapel Hill Can’t Use Unenforced Policy to Ban Controversial Ad: Constitutional Law Group Says that Using an Unenforced Policy to Ban Controversial Ad Would Constitute Viewpoint Discrimination   

RALEIGH – The recent discovery of an approved bus advertising policy that was never put into effect does not give Chapel Hill officials the constitutional authority to ban a controversial advertisement appearing on city buses, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF).

Chapel Hill Transit Director Steve Spade recently informed Town officials that they have been consistently using a “draft” policy for transit advertising and not the “final” policy approved by the Chapel Hill Town Council in June 2011. Unlike the “draft” policy, the “final” policy broadly prohibits certain religious and political advertising. Some community members have advocated using the newly discovered “final” policy in order to ban a controversial bus ad from the Church of the Reconciliation now appearing on city buses.  

In an Oct. 29 letter, ACLU-NCLF Legal Director Chris Brook told Chapel Hill officials that they cannot constitutionally abandon a longstanding practice of allowing virtually any group to purchase ads on public buses under these circumstances. Applying the more restrictive, previously dormant “final” policy in order to ban one particular ad would constitute viewpoint discrimination.      

“The long practice of allowing all advertising on the buses, including those political in nature, trumps an unenforced paper policy and creates a public forum,” Brook wrote. “…We urge Chapel Hill to stand by its longstanding tradition of welcoming dialogue, including on its transit system. We further encourage the Town to adopt policy revisions that bring its policy in line with its practice by clarifying its bus advertising space constitutes a public forum.”

Read the entire letter online at acluofnc.org.

Check Also

Editorial explains the single best thing state lawmakers could do during lame duck session

Be sure to check out this morning’s Capitol ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Shortly after 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a federal jury in the hog nuisance case Gillis vs. Murph [...]

North Carolina state law would seem to provide just two options for Wayne County school leaders, clo [...]

Perhaps the sixth time is the charm? Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) unveiled another attempt Tuesday b [...]

As the UNC Board of Governors prepares to take up the fate of the Silent Sam Confederate monument Fr [...]

It’s long been understood by those who pay attention to public policy debates that the age-old conse [...]

The post The newest nuisance in the 9th: Election Fraud Scandal appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Earlier this week, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees (BoT) began plans to erect a statue dedicat [...]

At some point, you would think the embarrassment factor would kick in for North Carolina Republican [...]