Manhattan federal Judge Richard Sullivan (who joined the court in 2007 after being nominated by President George W. Bush) issued a ruling today upholding the arrests of two diehard anti-abortion activists for protesting near Madison Square Garden during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Apparently, protesters Michael Marcavage and Steven Lefemine (here's the latter's freaky anti-abortion website) wouldn't submit to the specially designated "demonstration area" on Eighth Avenue, and tried to get over to Seventh Avenue to chastise Bush for killing fetuses.
According to Judge Sullivan, this is not a First Amendment thing. His ruling asserts: "Whatever the legal or practical parameters of the term 'sight and sound,' there is no constitutional entitlement to see the whites of the eyes of one's intended audience... While many RNC demonstrators may have preferred to roam freely throughout the sidewalks adjoining Madison Square Garden or the corridors of the venue itself, the First Amendment does not guarantee that degree of access." Public spaces like sidewalks are a privilege, not a right—and that goes for libtard hippies and Jesus freaks alike!
Sullivan also said that a secret audio recording made by the protesters revealed that "they refused 17 separate orders to move from three different officers," the Post reports. A lawyer for the city tells the tabloid, "The court has validated the city’s claim all along, that the Police Department did its best in balancing the complex challenge of allowing RNC protests to go forward while also ensuring public safety." Numerous lawsuit have been filed against the city since the convention protests, which led to the arrests and lengthy detention of an estimated 1,800 people.