ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended January 05, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 03Jan01

By Kent Larsen

Judge Rules for City, Church in Main Street Case

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Saying the city's sale and subsequent changes stripped one block of Salt Lake City's main street of its public status, U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart yesterday rejected the ACLU's contention that rules prohibiting protest on the plaza are unconstitutional. Stewart said that in this case "free speech rights do not outweigh private property rights." The ACLU has already indicated that it will appeal the decision to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court in Denver.

Judege Stewart said he had avoided the plaza in an effort to maintain objectivity on the issue. He spent this past weekend reading case law and affidavits on the case and Tuesday listened to two hours of arguments. He then took a 15 minute break before returning and reading a lengthy "oral ruling." "The restrictions are reasonable in light of the purpose for which the property was purchased," Stewart said.

Legal arguments in the case centered on whether the plaza retained its status as a thoroughfare, or whether, as private property, its character had changed. The ACLU's Stephen Clark argued Tuesday that the public could still pass through the plaza on its sidewalks. "What matters is that there are still passageways that serve as a public thoroughfare," he said. "There's one way to get from North to South Temple on Main Street and that's on these sidewalks through the plaza. That was not happenstance."

But LDS Church attorney Von Keetch noted that even when the street passed through the plaza, protests there were rare. According to Keetch, Church records show just eight 'incidents' occurring on Main street in the past 15 years and city records show no petitions for protest there in the past six years. City attorney Roger Cutler added that alternative protest locations are available, noting that 2.5 miles of public sidewalks and 433,000 square feet of space around the church's four-block campus was still available for protest. "There's no reason why we have to accommodate a free speech forum when it's so counter to the design and function and purpose of the place. It would be destructive of the whole scheme to which the city and the church have agreed."


Judge Rejects Suit Against Plaza Rules
Salt Lake Tribune 3Jan01 N1
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information