Federal judge rules AGAINST L.A. City Council on Free Speech lawsuit

untitledZuma Dogg is a regular attendee of L.A. city council meetings.  There are many instances were he has been asked to down his rants, been cut off from speaking and also has been ejected.  Zuma Dogg would then challenge the L.A. city council rules of decorum in federal court.  In August, he received the courts decision.

UNITED STATES FEDERAL COURT/AUGUST 07, 2013: Today, a FEDERAL JUDGE ruled in favor of Zuma Dogg on his “as-applied” challenge to the Los Angeles City Council “Rules of Decorum” under the United States Constitution and the California constitution. Zuma Dogg may seek damages at the January 2014 jury trial.

FEDERAL RULING (AUGUST 07, 2013) – Zuma Dogg vs Los Angeles City Council: “The court finds the discussion of a councilman’s alleged criminal activities is relevant to a discussion of funding that the City intends to give to that councilman’s District. Indeed, this incident is exemplary of why it is unconstitutional to restrict speakers from making personal attacks in City Council meetings; it chills speech critical of elected officials, which is speech at the heart of the First Amendment. In one of the largest cities in the world, it is to be expected that some inhabitants will sometimes use language that does not conform to conventions of civility and decorum, including offensive language and swear-words. As an elected official, a City Council member will be the subject of personal attacks in such language. It is asking much of City Council members, who have given themselves to public service, to tolerate profanities and personal attacks, but that is what is required by the First Amendment. While the City Council has a right to keep its meetings on topic and moving forward, it cannot sacrifice political speech to a formula of civility. Dogg “may be a gadfly to those with views contrary to [their] own, but First Amendment jurisprudence is clear that the way to oppose offensive speech is by more speech, not censorship, enforced silence or eviction from legitimately occupied public space.” Gathright v. City of 18 Portland, Or., 439 F.3d 573, 578 (9th Cir. 2006). The city that silences a critic will injure itself as much as it injures the critic, for the gadfly’s task is to stir into life the massive beast of the city, to “rouse each and every one of you, to persuade and reproach you all day long.” (‪#‎PLATO‬, Five Dialogues, Hackett, 23 2d Ed., Trans. G.M.A. Grube, 35 (Apology).) 24 The court GRANTS summary judgment to Plaintiffs on the as-applied challenge to the Rules of Decorum.”   VICTORY=DOGG, LOSERS=L.A. CITY COUNCIL & THE PEOPLE OF L.A. WHO ARE PAYING FOR ALL OF THIS.

What does this ruling mean?  Residents wishing to speak at council meeting can now curse at the elected officials, if they want, without fear of repercussion and/or ejection from the meeting.

Zuma Dogg ‏@ZumaDogg2m

@EricGarcetti: Remember U aksed me to have more dignity? Judge says=don’t even have to be civil/respectful=can CURSE. 

Whoop there it is!


One Response so far.

  1. […] in mind, the City of Los Angeles City Council was recently sued in federal court over violating residents rights.  Some basic rights that are commonly violated […]

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

Copyright © 2011 - 2018 Urban Girl Media All Rights Reserved.