WKEF-TV Dayton: Piqua resident questions ban from city complex

UC Law professor offers expertise on first amendment rights

WKEF-TV Dayton featured a segment on a Piqua resident who says her rights may have been violated because she questioned the use of lithium ion battery burns in the city.

Alisha Lange says she’s raised environmental and health concerns about lithium ion battery burns for months and that she has subsequently been trespassed from city hall because of interactions with city officials at a previous meeting. 

Area legal experts including Ryan Thoreson, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, discussed whether Lange’s right to free speech might have been violated.

Thoreson told WKEF-TV Dayton that cities are able to have certain rules or regulations at their public meetings, such as making sure residents aren't disruptive or that they have a time limit to speak.

"If the person is following those rules and they just don't like what the person is saying, then that starts to look like viewpoint discrimination and potentially becomes problematic under the first amendment,” explained Thoreson.

Thoreson, who received his JD at Yale University, is a scholar of contemporary social movements, constitutional law, criminal law, tort law, and comparative and international law. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the California Law Review, Harvard International Law Journal, Yale Law Journal, and Journal of Human Rights. 

Listen to the WKEF-TV broadcast online.

Learn more about Dr. Ryan Thoreson online

Check out resources about public forums and first amendment rights online.

Featured top image is courtesy of Istock.

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