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Judge approves lawsuit against ATF
Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette
October 16, 2008
ACLU Director of Communications Brandon Hensler says the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida received an early victory today when Senior Federal Judge Lacey A. Collier denied the ATF’s motions for summary judgment in Kilpatrick v. U.S.
The ACLU filed the case on April 18, 2006, on behalf of Karen J. Kilpatrick, who claimed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) violated her Free Speech rights.
Kilpatrick was driving her blue van in Pensacola on April 19, 2004, with the slogans “Remember the Children of Waco” and “Boo ATF” written on some of the windows when she was pulled over by police for questioning by the ATF.
The ACLU argues in the lawsuit that her First Amendment Rights to Free Speech and her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when officers detained her for an hour, searched her car without consent, and ordered her to remove the writing on the side of her van.
“The ATF’s actions were unconstitutional and there was no legal justification to stop and question Ms. Kilpatrick. We believe that the ATF was trying to silence Ms. Kilpatrick and the 911 call substantiates this position,” said Bert Oram, ACLU cooperating counsel.
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