UPDATE: ACLU of Idaho Applauds Boise Council For Pulling Ordinance From Agenda


UPDATE: March 4, 2014 12:30 p.m.

The Boise City Council has pulled proposed ordinance No. 10-14 from this evening's scheduled meeting.

According to a representative from the ACLU of Idaho, the so-called Special Events Ordinance, which the ACLU of Idaho had said was an attempt to restrict free speech, has been pulled from the agenda "in order to further investigate the potential harms in restricting the First Amendment."

"We want to thank the Boise City Council for working collaboratively with us to address this complicated issue," said a statement from ACLU of Idaho.

ORIGINAL POST: March 4, 2014 9 a.m.

When the Boise City Council gavels into session this evening, they'll be hearing a first reading of Ordinance No. 10-14. But the ACLU of Idaho says it's an "ordinance to restrict free speech."

"[The] Boise City Council is at it again," writes the ACLU of Idaho, deriding the ordinance that aims to redefine the requirements for permits in regards to planned special events for use on public property and streets."

The new ordinance sets application deadlines, fees and review criteria and establishes new grounds for permit denial. The ordinance would also require insurance indemnification (with some exemptions), and require a good faith attendance estimate and reimbursement of certain costs.

The ACLU of Idaho and the city of Boise went toe-to-toe in November 2013, after the City Council approved a controversial solicitation ordinance, prompting a federal lawsuit against the city. But a U.S. District Judge ruled against the city in January, telling city officials that their ordinance was poorly crafted "to suppress particular speech."

"We hope that it doesn't take this type of legal action in the future to avoid something that really should have been taken care of at the city level," Leo Morales, ACLU of Idaho communications and advocacy director, told BW in January.

But now, the ACLU of Idaho is pushing back against the new ordinance, which will surface later today.

There will be no public testimony during this evening's first reading of the proposed ordinance, but the ACLU of Idaho wrote to its supporters that it was encouraging "community members to attend and show their opposition to the city of Boise's continual efforts in restricting the First Amendment."