Recently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court determination that the City of Kingston had the right to prohibit the public from displaying signs at a City Council meeting and that such restriction did not, as claimed by the Plaintiffs, violate their First Amendment rights. In the case of Tyler v. City of Kingston, the Court held:”[t]he district court concluded that Plaintiffs had not adequately alleged that the City’s sign prohibition was unreasonable in light of the potential disruption or distraction that signs at Common Council meetings might pose. We AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.”
The Plaintiffs are nine citizens of the City who are active regarding various community issues. The City proposed to purchase an armored rescue vehicle. The Plaintiffs intended to protest the proposal by appearing in City Hall at the Council meeting. They intended to carry large signs objecting to the proposed action. Several days before the scheduled hearing the City had adopted a rule prohibiting the carrying of signs in City Hall, where the hearing was scheduled to take place.