TRI in the News


Rutherford Institute Concerned about Revisions to Cville City Council Meetings



March 11, 2016

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead is worried the revisions made to Charlottesville City Council meetings infringe on public comments and that this could turn people away.

The lawyer argues that these new council regulations violate people's first amendment right to free speech.

Starting this week people must sign up in advance for a shot at getting one of the 12 public comments. 

New rules also prohibit improper comments and disorderly conduct. The Rutherford Institute believes that language is too vague.

The nonprofit published a post yesterday that warns people against "efforts to muzzle citizens & avoid transparency."

“I saw comments like you couldn't use improper words or you couldn't use words that cause disorder or in case there is a a disturbance citizens filming with their cellphones have to turn them off. You can only address council members. Everything that I saw, these words, were aimed at free speech,” said John Whitehead, the head of the Rutherford Institute.

The Rutherford Institute wants to see these rules revoked. At this time we have yet to hear back from the city councils attorney.

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