Case Against DC Community Organizers Dismissed by Judge

In 2001, the members of Southeast Citizens for Smart Development (SCSD) peacefully protested the proposed development of a home for troubled teens called Boys Town in its community. The builders sued the District of Columbia for violations of the Fair Housing Act, but they named as defendants of the suit the SCSD and two of its members.

The Center for Individual Rights and the local chapter of the ACLU stepped in to defend the community organizers. The judge dismissed the suit as against the organizers, holding that the citizens had a First Amendment right to petitioning and speech, and that the SCSD’s activities, including lobbying local officials and circulating petitions, constituted such petitioning and speech.

See Father Flanagan’s Boys Home v. D.C. Gov’t, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 7363 (April 17, 2003).

Read more here.