Free speech restrictions lifted at Genesee County Parks

Oct 6, 2011

Genesee County officials have changed a rule that restricted political activities in its parks.

A ranger in Genesee County’s Linden Park told members of a group circulating petitions to recall Governor Snyder that they’d have to get a permit first.

So they did, but then they were told they’d have to stand in a nine-square-foot space while asking for signatures.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit against the county.

“It’s unconstitutional to require permission from the government before speaking or petitioning, in this case, in a public park or a public sidewalk,” says ACLU spokesman Michael Steinberg.

Steinberg says a judge permanently barred Genesee County Parks from requiring permits or restricting political activities.

County officials had argued that people come to parks for recreation, not politics.