Citizens United protesters at Supreme Court plead guilty after losing challenge to ‘harangue’ law

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Five protesters who were arrested for disrupting U.S. Supreme Court proceedings pleaded guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor charges.

The defendants, who had been protesting the Citizens United decision before their April 2015 arrest, pleaded guilty to laws banning demonstrations and disruptions at the Supreme Court, BuzzFeed News reports. They could be sentenced to up to a year in prison.

The guilty pleas followed the protesters’ failed challenge to one of the laws, which bans a “harangue,” “oration” or loud language at the Supreme Court. A federal judge had found that “harangue” and “oration” were unconstitutionally vague, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit disagreed in a March decision.

Writing for the court, Judge Janice Janice Rogers Brown had said the meaning of the words is clear in context of the law, although “‘harangue’ and ‘oration’ may not roll off the average person’s tongue today.” BuzzFeed News covered the decision here.

The protesters at the oral arguments in April 2015 had stood one-by-one after the justices took their seats. “I rise to claim our democracy, one person, one vote,” the first protester said. Others also criticized the decision with statements or in song.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

See also: Is laughter prosecution against Sessions protester a dangerous precedent?




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