Street preachers win early round in dispute with police
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A judge has sided for the moment with two men who say they were told by police to stop street preaching in a central New York city.
The (Syracuse) Post-Standard reports that Michael Marcavage of Repent America and Michael Stockwell of Cross Country Evangelism were handing out leaflets and using a loudspeaker in downtown Syracuse on April 9 when they were told to stop or risk arrest.
They sued and U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn issued a temporary restraining order on May 22 saying the two men are likely to prevail in their lawsuit on First Amendment grounds.
Kahn said the way officers applied a noise ordinance appeared to be unconstitutional. The judge and the preachers also agreed that the city ordinance doesn’t require a permit for religious pamphleteering.
The city’s lawyer declined comment. The city’s motion to set aside the order is to be heard on May 29.