Attention Bruce – No More Dancing in the Dark…

Well, not at the Jefferson Memorial anyway. At least that’s what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled.

Back in April, 2008, Mary Brooke Oberwetter and friends wanted to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday so they gathered at midnight inside the memorial on the eve of the former president’s birthday. They proceeded to dance “for the most part by themselves, in place, each listening to his or her music on headphones” because in this way they were expressing “the individualist spirit for which Jefferson is known.”

However, the U.S. Park Police on duty did not appreciate this demonstration and ordered the dancers to disperse. Oberwetter and company were told that they were violating National Park Service Regulations by demonstating without a permit. She subsequently filed a lawsuit arguing that the enforcement of the Park Service Regulations to prohibit her expressive dancing violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

The D.C. district court, however, disagreed with her.
Mary Brooke Oberwetter then took her fight to the federal appeals court. In Oberwetter v. Hilliard The appeals court has now affirmed the dismissal of her case.

Now, who’s going to tell “The Boss“?


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