Judge: Preacher's First Amendment Rights Not Violated By Removal From State Fair Entrance

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A judge has ruled Iowa State Patrol troopers did not violate a preacher's First Amendment rights by asking him to stop preaching near the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt said Tuesday it was wrong for troopers to threaten to arrest Christian preacher Jason Powell last year. He said the fair has a legitimate interest in limiting where a person could stand so that attendees can move freely.

Powell was kicked off the fairgrounds after preaching near the main gates. He wanted the judge to order fair officials to allow him access to this year's fair, which starts Thursday.

Powell's attorney said it's unclear if his client will preach outside the fair this year.

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