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Federal judge hears arguments by ACLU against Capitol protester policy


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A federal judge held a hearing Wednesday on a lawsuit that seeks to strike down the State Capitol’s policy on getting permits to conduct protests and other activities.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in February, saying the policy violates First Amendment free speech rights – and it does not serve any legitimate government purpose.

ACLU attorney Laurence Dupuis told Federal Judge William Conley in Madison that the policy is vague, and it’s based on the content of speech.

The policy requires advance permits for activities and protests by four or more people.

A Dane County judge recently said the state’s policy only requires to group organizers, not participants.

State officials have created an updated policy to try and nullify the judge’s ruling. Assistant State Attorney General Maria Lazar says the Capitol Police force need to know how many people are in the statehouse.

Judge Conley did not indicate when he would rule on the ACLU’s lawsuit.