UPDATE: So, to condense:
There was an existing law that stated "It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds, or to display in the Building and grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement."
This is the law they used to arrest and charge Mr. Hodge. He did a plea deal where he has to stay away from the Court grounds for 6 months (?!) and the case would be dismissed, and it was. After this ruling, the Court implemented the new Regulation Seven.
Quite a story here, I think. But I'm also writing this in order to ask some questions.
FREDERIC J. FROMMER June 13, 2013, 3:02 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has come up with a new regulation banning demonstrations on its grounds.
The rule approved Thursday comes two days after a broader anti-demonstration law was declared unconstitutional.
The new rule bans activities such as picketing, speech-making, marching or vigils. It says “casual use” by visitors or tourists is not banned.
The president of the Rutherford Institute, which challenged the law on a protester’s behalf, calls the new rule “repugnant” to the Constitution.
Howell was ruling in a challenge brought by Harold Hodge Jr., who was arrested on the Supreme Court plaza in January 2011 while wearing a sign that criticized police treatment of blacks and Hispanics.
He was given a citation for violating a law that makes it a crime to “parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages,” or to display a “flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement,” at the high court’s building or grounds.
The new regulation can be found on the Supreme Court website, on the page marked, “Building Regulations,” with a note that they have been “prescribed by the Marshal and approved by the Chief Justice of the United States.”
John Whitehead, the president of the Rutherford Institute, which successfully challenged the law on Hodge’s behalf, called the new regulation “repugnant” to the Constitution.
“It almost to me seems to be directed at people like Harold Hodge, if you communicate a message,” Whitehead said. “If you believe in free speech, the First Amendment’s really clear: You have a right to petition your government peacefully to redress grievances.”
This regulation is issued under the authority of 40 U.S.C. § 6102 to protect the Supreme
Court building and grounds, and persons and property thereon, and to maintain suitable order and decorum within the Supreme Court building and grounds. Any person who fails to comply with this regulation may be subject to a fine and/or imprisonment pursuant to 40 U.S.C. § 6137. This regulation does not apply on the perimeter sidewalks on the Supreme Court grounds. The Supreme Court may also make exceptions to this regulation for activities related to its official functions.
No person shall engage in a demonstration within the Supreme Court building and grounds. The term “demonstration” includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers. The term does not include casual use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely
to attract a crowd or onlookers.
So, in effect are they just moving any and all protests to the sidewalks?
My questions are these:
If the Supreme Court makes a rule, to whom does one redress their grievance to the rule? And then if that makes it to the Supreme Court, what then? Can the Supreme Court strike down its own rule?
My head is kind of spinning.........HELP!!!