Blogger gets boost in effort to put pro-Israel ads on NYC buses
NEW YORK — An anti-Islam activist has won a preliminary round in her First Amendment fight to place New York City bus ads calling enemies of Israel “savages.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan said he agreed with blogger Pamela Geller that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should not have rejected Geller’s ad.
“The Court agrees that that advertising standard, as presently written, violates the First Amendment,” Engelmayer wrote in American Freedom Defense Initiative v. MTA.
Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, publishes a blog called Atlas Shrugged that warns of growing “Islamization.”
The MTA rejected the group’s bus ad. Its standard says ads should not demean individuals or groups based on race, religion or other protected categories.
Engelmayer granted a preliminary injunction on July 20 barring the MTA from enforcing the standard. The MTA says it’s reviewing the decision.
A conference in the case is scheduled for Aug. 29.