Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oregon ACLU files free speech suit against TriMet

By WILLIAM McCALL / Associated Press

A decision by the city transit agency to reject an advertisement about saving Klamath River salmon has drawn a free speech lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of conservation groups and a Northern California Indian tribe.

The proposed ad rejected by TriMet shows three salmon blocked by an underwater wall of electrical outlets and says: "Salmon shouldn't run up your electric bill. They should run up the Klamath River."

The ACLU claims TriMet violated the federal and state constitutions by rejecting an ad it says is too political.

"TriMet's job is to transport riders, not to override free speech protections," said Dave Fidanque, executive director of the ACLU's Oregon chapter.

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