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News Link • Justice and Judges

Judge Rules Flashing Lights to Warn Drivers Is Protected Free Speech

• Daily
Elli faced a $1,000 fine, and later was warned by a municipal judge about a charge of “obstruction of justice.”

The city dropped the prosecution after Elli pled not guilty, and later said it ordered police not to enforce the law. Nonetheless, Elli proceeded with a federal lawsuit. In early February, U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey issued an order to make certain he stopped the “chilling effect” on citizens exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.

Judge Henry’s ruling makes the important point that Missouri law forbids someone from warning of “impending discovery or apprehension,” but specifically excludes telling someone to comply with the law.

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