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The US Court of Appeals has ruled that the National Park Service’s nationwide policy requiring permits to leaflet at the parks violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

KYW’s Mike Dunn reports that the ruling could make life easier for protesters and activists who may want to gather on Independence Mall.

protester madden Ruling Eliminates Protest Permits for Independence Mall

(File photo: a protester kneels on Independence Mall)

The National Park Service says it is now reviewing the decision striking down the permit requirement,  and could appeal.

Here in Philadelphia, Independence National Park Service spokeswoman Jane Cowley says while that review goes on, they are still encouraging individuals and groups to get permits:

“Going forward, we’re going to continue asking for information.  If groups can file a permit in advance, that really helps us plan out the activities that take place in the park.  If they show up without a permit in advance, we simply ask for information so that we can manage the event safely.”

Cowley says the permit process helps avoid conflicts among groups who want to be near the historic sites.  She recalls the time a fight broke about between two brides who both wanted the park as a backdrop for their wedding photos.

(Photo by KYW’s David Madden)

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