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The Latest: Judge: Would sex mural be legal? Nude Venus?

July 8, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on a hearing on New Orleans’ mural ordinance (all times local):

4:05 p.m.

A federal judge has posed some tough questions about whether New Orleans’ regulations for murals violate the free speech of a landowner whose currently covered fence features infamous Donald Trump quotes from 2005.

District Judge Martin Feldman said Monday that he’ll rule as soon as possible.

Landowner Neal Morris sued after being ordered to remove the mural, which transcribes part of the “Access Hollywood” conversation, including a boast about groping women’s genitals. But the mural itself wasn’t part of the arguments.

During Monday’s hearing Feldman asked an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Morris how he’d advise the mayor if he were the city attorney.

He asked a deputy city attorney why New Orleans requires a sketch before OK’ing murals.

Both described the questioning as even-handed.

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1 p.m.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on whether New Orleans’ regulations for murals violate the free speech of a landowner whose fence painting features infamous Donald Trump quotes from a 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording.

In large capital letters with cartoons replacing four words, the mural transcribes parts of the future president’s conversation, including comments about a woman’s breasts and his boast about grabbing women’s genitals.

Landowner Neal Morris has asked Judge Martin Feldman to rule without trial. He says the regulations are unconstitutional and the city should be barred from enforcing them.

The city answered that courts have long approved reasonable restrictions on the manner in which free speech may be exercised. City officials say permits are needed to weed out ads and graffiti.

Feldman scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Monday.

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