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Minn. Supreme Court Invalidates Law that Bars Meeting Disturbance

Minnesota's highest court has overturned part of a state law that prevents people from disturbing public meetings. Minnesota's highest court has overturned part of a state law that prevents people from disturbing public meetings. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

September 13, 2017 12:26 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Supreme Court says part of a disorderly conduct law that bars people from disturbing public meetings is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment.

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The ruling comes in the case of a Little Falls woman who was escorted from a City Council meeting and charged with disorderly conduct after she refused to sit in the gallery.

In Wednesday's ruling, the Supreme Court invalidated the law, saying it's overly broad. The justices sent the case back to the lower court with an order to vacate Robin Hensel's conviction.

Hensel's attorney, Kevin Riach, says the ruling is a victory for free speech at a time when democratic values are under attack and public dissent is critical.

An attorney who represented the state says they are disappointed with the decision and evaluating its impact.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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