6th Circuit: Detroit suburb violated evangelist’s rights
DETROIT — A federal court says it was illegal to bar a Christian evangelist from passing out leaflets inside an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Mich., last year.
A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 yesterday in the case of George Saieg of Anaheim, Calif. The decision comes less than a month before this year’s festival.
The court says Dearborn’s restriction on where Saieg could hand out leaflets was not reasonable and violated his First Amendment rights.
The festival had offered Saieg a free booth, but he prefers to roam Warren Avenue sidewalks because he believes some Muslims may be afraid to approach him.
A message seeking comment was left with a Dearborn spokeswoman. Saieg’s attorney says he and his followers plan to attend the next festival on June 17.