Lawyers: dissent grounds for ejection

April 15, 2007 at 8:40 AM
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DENVER, April 15 (UPI) -- Two men charged with illegally ejecting people from a Denver appearance by President Bush argue they had the right to expel anyone expressing dissenting views.

Attorneys for Michael Casper and Jay Klinkerman argue the men working as organizers for a public forum on Social Security in 2005 lawfully ejected Alex Young and Leslie Weise because the pair held views different from President Bush, The New York Times reported Sunday.

A lawsuit filed by Young and Weise claims they were ejected from the event because of an anti-war bumper sticker on the car they arrived in and had not caused any disturbance before they were forced to leave. The suit charges Casper and Klinkerman of violating the pair's First Amendment right to free speech.

However, a brief filed by lawyers for Casper and Klinkerman claims the men had the right to remove anyone from the event who held views opposed to those of the president.

"They excluded people from a White House event because they posed a threat of being disruptive," said Sean Gallagher, a lawyer for Casper.

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