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Personally, I would not like to see our federal parks turned into hotbeds of political activity. It’s OK to have other public places wide open, but won’t the pristine beauty and serenity of the parks be ruined if we have political hacks passing out literature everywhere? After all, the whole purpose of those parks is a place to get away from the noise and frustration and conflict of everyday life. It sort of ruins the whole purpose.

From Religion Clause blog:

In Boardley v. United States Department of the Interior, (DC Cir., Aug. 6, 2010), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutionally overbroad on their face requirements that individuals and small groups obtain a permit before engaging in expressive activities in national parks, even in designated free speech areas. The regulations apply to both public assemblies and distribution of written materials. The lawsuit was filed by a Christian activist who, along with his associates, was stopped from distributing gospel tracts without a permit at the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. The court left open the possibility that the government can rewrite the rules to make them applicable only to large groups. Fox News yesterday reported on the decision. (See prior related posting.)

Putting aside the constitutional issues, the last thing I want to see is some activist handing out flyers when I go to a national park. Of course, lots of people go there, so those who want to annoy you will follow.

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