Society

Appeals Court Upholds Protest Ban On Supreme Court Plaza

Demonstrators stage a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington

A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld a federal law banning protests on the marble plaza directly in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, saying demonstrators are free to protest nearby.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the law does not violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech.

Harold Hodge, a student from Maryland, challenged the law after he was arrested in January 2011 for standing on the plaza holding a sign stating that the government "allows police to illegally murder and brutalize African-Americans and Hispanic people."

Protesters are generally allowed to stand on the sidewalk in front of the court but not on the plaza, which is reached by walking up several steps from the sidewalk.

Writing on behalf of a three-judge panel, Judge Sri Srinivasan, said the plaza, part of the Supreme Court grounds, is not a traditional public forum.

The government "can impose reasonable restrictions on speech as long as it refrains from suppressing particular viewpoints," he said, adding that protesters can still make their voices heard via the sidewalk area.

The court reversed a June 2013 ruling by U.S. District Judge Beryl Powell. She wrote that the law is "unreasonable, substantially overbroad, and irreconcilable with the First Amendment."

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Susan Heavey)

Dad Receives Coded Text Message From Son, Rushes To Help Him

In the middle of the night, West Virginia father Bert Fulks received a text message with only the letter "X" from his teenage son. Immediately, he sprung into action, calling his son to tell him that he will be there in five minutes to pick him up.

Teen Hit With Major Drug Trafficking Charges Let Off; Guess Who Her Dad Is

A woman arrested on drug possession and trafficking charges may be the daughter of a Drug Enforcement Agency office.

Doctors Issue Warning About One Of America's Most Popular Foods; If You Eat It, Stop ASAP

An experiment performed by a doctor in Massachusetts has people questioning whether they will ever eat instant noodles again.

School Claims Braless Senior's Shirt Is See-Through, But She Disagrees; You Decide (Photos)

Students at Helena High School in Montana have backed the right of a female senior student not to wear a bra.

Mother Almost Loses Legs As They Rot From Common Habit Most Women Have

A mother spoke out after almost losing her legs from a deadly infection caused by shaving her groin (WARNING: graphic photos below).