JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled unanimously against a group of protestors at the center of a court case stemming from President George W. Bush’s visit to Jacksonville in 2004.
The protestors said the Secret Service tried to remove anti-Bush protestors, thus violating their First Amendment right. That’s because while both pro- and anti- Bush demonstrators were gathered on California street, when the president unexpectedly decided to eat on Jacksonville Inn’s patio, it put the protestors within “weapons range” of the president. So the Secret Service pushed the protestors back several blocks, but left the supporters in place. There was a brick building in between them and the president. After the President dined, his motorcade passed supporters, but the protestors, now two blocks away from the motorcade’s route, were beyond his sight and hearing.
The Supreme Court decision published today states that the Secret Service’s top priority is protecting the president, not ensuring the First Amendment is enforced.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court says the claims of the protestors are undermined by a map of the area, which supports the Secret Service claims of security concerns.
Read the Supreme Court Decision here.