LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The Boston Globe reports that a couple arrested at a rally after refusing to cover T-shirts that bore anti-President Bush slogans settled their lawsuit against the federal government for $80,000, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday.
Nicole and Jeffery Rank of Corpus Christi, Texas, were handcuffed and removed from the July 4, 2004, rally at the state Capitol, where Bush gave a speech. A judge dismissed trespassing charges against them, and an order closing the case was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.
“This settlement is a real victory not only for our clients but for the First Amendment,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of West Virginia. “As a result of the Ranks’ courageous stand, public officials will think twice before they eject peaceful protesters from public events for exercising their right to dissent.”
White House spokesman Blair Jones said the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.