Suburb can’t limit sidewalk signs by abortion protester
CENTER LINE, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit suburb has agreed to stop interfering with an abortion protester who displays a sign with images of aborted fetuses.
A judge in December granted an injunction in favor of Michael Mattia. Now he and the city of Center Line have settled a lawsuit.
Ordinances that restrict signs on public sidewalks in Center Line are unconstitutional as applied to Mattia. Police told him his sign was disturbing the peace on a “psychological level.” But Mattia said his free speech rights were violated.
Center Line will pay $1 to Mattia and $50,000 to his lawyer. Federal Judge David Lawson signed the agreement Wednesday.
The judge says the First Amendment protects against a “heckler’s veto” by people who simply don’t like the content of speech.