February 11, 2018
Judge Blocks UW from Billing Student Republicans for Campus Rally
From The Seattle Times, 2/11/18
A federal judge on Friday blocked the University of Washington from billing the College Republicans an estimated $17,000 security fee for a campus rally Saturday on grounds that doing so would violate free-speech rights.
Paul Lawrence, a senior partner with the Pacifica Law Group in Seattle, argued on behalf of the UW, saying case law has established that government entities can assess and charge fees for use of facilities and additional security costs incurred for such events. “Here, there’s a real threat of security based on evidence of past Patriot Prayer events in the Northwest,” Lawrence said.
A Patriot Prayer rally last August in Westlake Plaza drew hundreds of anti-Trump and anti-fascist counterprotesters, with Seattle police keeping the two groups separated amid heated rhetoric. There were three arrests.