CCNV V. WATT
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
THE COMMUNITY FOR CREATIVE NON-VIOLENCE, ET AL.,Plaintiffs,
Civil Action No. 81-2844
JAMES G. WATT, ET AL.,
Wednesday, November 25, 1983
The above-entitled matter came on for bearing on a temporary
restraining order, before the Honorable Charles R, Richey, United
States District Judge, Courtroom 11, commencing at approximately
RALPH TYLER, Esq.
ILENE JACOBS, Esq.
ARTHUR SPITZER, Esq,
On behalf of the Plaintiffs
CRAIG LAWRENCE, Esq.
ROYCE LAMBERTH, Esq.
RICHARD ROBBINS, Esq.
DIANE KELLY, Esq.
On behalf of the Government
Mindi L. Colchico
Official Court Reporter
6808 U.S. Courthouse
Washington, D.C. 20001
might want to call this symbolic speech, but the dictionary even
would not support you, let alone the law.
MR. TYLER: As Your Honor would know, the history of
First Amendment law has been the recognition conduct as speech
which might, in the strict dictionary sense, not have been so
recognized, the right to demonstrate, the right to picket,
wearing armbands, use of symbols, and so on. And it is our
position that in that tradition we seek the right to demonstrate
in a way which eloquently and articulately states the nature of
plaintiffs grievances namely, that persons are without homes and
they wish to make that statement to the people of the United
States, to the government of the United States, that absent their
ability to make that statement there is no likelihood of their
obtaining redress of grievances.
It is for that reason that they sought the permit
and it is for that reason that they are in court today.
Thank you, your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Tyler.
MR. LAWRENCE: May it please the Court. I am Craig
Lawrence, Assistant United States Attorney. I represent the
defendants in this action. With me at counsel table are Royce
Lamberth, Assistant United States Attorney, as well as Mr.
Richard Robbins and Ms. Diane Kelly, from the Department of
Interior Solicitor's, Office.
We submit, on that basis, that the law is abundantly
clear and the law is foursquare against plaintiffs.
In their papers, plaintiffs cite no case even close to
being on point,. In their supplemental memorandum, their only
citation on which they rely that even gives an inkling dealing
with the current issue is the concurring opinion of the judge in
the denial of en banc consideration in the Vietnam Veterans
Against the War case.
THE COURT: Are you familiar with the case of the
United States versus Abney, 534 Fed 2nd 986?
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes, Your Honor. That case dealt with a
different regulation. That dealt with a loitering regulation,
THE COURT: With a what?
MR. LAWRENCE: The loitering regulation, Loitering with
an intention to remain for more than four hours. The Court of
Appeals in that case dealt with the regulation at issue, noting
in particular that in that case the denial of the application by
the plaintiff there had been acted on some nineteen days after it
had been made by the individual. The decision there dealt with
the regulation at issue, which was not the regulations at issue
in this particular case. That was a case involving a conviction
for a violation of loitering with intent to remain for more than
four hours, and that particular regulation there was held to be
vague. Your Honor, plaintiffs do not even rely on that case as
any support for their position here.We submit that in examining the case, the Vietnam
Veterans Against the War, It is clear that the activity sought to
be engaged in by the plaintiffs in that case was deemed, by this
court, and recognized by the Court of Appeals, as characterized
by them, as part of the central aspect of their demonstration;
nevertheless, the Court of Appeals specifically held that the
camping aspect of their demonstration activity was prohibited by
the regulation properly prohibited by the regulations, and that
is specifically what was done by the Department of Interior here.
I think it is important to note that as Your Honor has
pointed out from, I believe it is, Exhibit C to the complaint,
the letter from Jack Fish to Mitch Snyder, the Department of
Interior specifically points out that it is quite proper for the
plaintiffs to engage in a demonstration to maintain their
continuing presence to show to the Executive Branch and to other
persons in that area their plight.
What the Department of Interior has not permitted and
indeed it has permitted for no group, and that is the right to
camp out in Lafayette Park or ia any of the areas, the core
memorial areas, of the Nation's Capitol.
The American Indian movement is a good example of
similar treatment, Your Honor. The American Indian
of law, in accordance with these findings announced at the Bench
The Court will be in recess until further notice,
(Whereupon, at 4:15 p.m., the hearing in the above-entitled case was concluded
This record is certified by the undersigned to be the
official transcript in the above-entitled case,
(signed) Mindi L. Colchico
Official Court Reporter
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