Tuesday, 11 February 2014 | buzz
The Solidarity Sing Along, the longest running singing protest in the world, may have sounded unusually jubilant recently. Last week, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Markson dismissed charges against Capitol protestor and Solidarity Sing Along participant Michael Crute. On July 24, Wisconsin Capitol Police arrested Crute and cited him for “conducting a rally without a permit” under the State Administrative Code. Crute and his attorney, Jeffrey Scott Olson, contested the citation, claiming that Crute was exercising his rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Markson agreed with the defendant, not only throwing out Crute’s case, but also declaring the state code unconstitutional on its face. With over 300 similar cases involving singing protestors at the State Capitol, all awaiting trial in the Dane County court system, Markson’s ruling could have significant ripple effects. Marquette Law School professor Ed Fallone joined the Monday Buzz on February 10 to discuss the implications of the ruling.