Activists protest against Senate Bill 452 outside the Georgia Capitol, chanting “four-five-two, shame on you” on Feb. 26, 2018. The bill would require local police and court officials in Georgia to help with immigration enforcement. Ariel Hart/ahart@ajc.com
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Judge rules protesters can wave signs opposing immigration bill in Georgia Capitol

A federal judge has ruled that police must allow protesters to wave signs in the Georgia Capitol as they oppose an immigration enforcement bill.

U.S. District Judge William Duffey granted a temporary restraining order Thursday allowing the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and others to silently display posters in the Capitol Rotunda and the balcony around the Rotunda.

Protesters aren’t allowed to bring posters or signs into the state House or Senate chambers.

The court order bars Capitol police and other law enforcement from prohibiting the protest activities.

“Today is a victory for the First Amendment. Georgians demand that their constitutional freedoms and rights be respected, especially in the Gold Dome,” said Sean Young, the legal director for the ACLU of Georgia. 

Protesters have been opposing Senate Bill 452, which would require prosecutors to verify whether defendants are in the country illegally, among other provisions.

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