Monday, May 03, 2004

FEDERAL JUDGE ISSUES RULING ON MAIN STREET PLAZA ISSUE

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Check this out:
A federal judge late this afternoon ruled in favor of Salt Lake City and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in a land swap involved in the deal.
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The ACLU -- which argued the plaza deal restricted free speech, and was engineered in favor of the LDS Church --- now says an appeal is likely.
I think the ACLU is going to lose. The land swap cuts constitutional muster.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting the story in two articles (here and here), as has the Salt Lake Tribune (which also has two articles - see here and here) and the Deseret News. The Deseret News piece included this observation:
[U.S. District Judge Dale A.] Kimball stressed words from the 10th Circuit's initial plaza ruling several times in his ruling Monday. Then, the appellate court said the city could either keep the easement and allow free speech on the plaza or "relinquish the easement so the parcel becomes entirely private."
When the Tenth Circuit's decision came out last year, I discussed it with my First Amendment professor. We speculated that it could prove the lynchpin of the Church's case should the ACLU contest it. Looks like we were right.