Wyo. Supreme Court Rules That Antiabortion Protesters' Rights Were Violated

April 12, 2012 — The Wyoming Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 3-2 that a temporary restraining order barring antiabortion-rights protesters from Jackson's town square violated their first amendment rights, the AP/Columbus Republic reports.

Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Golden said that Jackson "has not met its burden of establishing that the temporary restraining order ban was necessary to serve the town's interest and that less restrictive measures would not have been adequate."

According to the AP/Republic, Jackson last year obtained a temporary restraining order from District Judge Timothy Day to keep members of Operation Save America from appearing within two blocks of the town square. City police were concerned that violence might break out if the protesters came in contact with Boy Scouts and their families, who were using the square for an event. The protesters, who were not informed of the restraining order before it was filed, had been staging demonstrations in Jackson involving images of supposed aborted fetuses.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Marilyn Kite and Justice William Hill wrote that the case should not have reached the state Supreme Court and that there was no evidence that the situation would happen again (Neary, AP/Columbus Republic, 4/10).