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Judge Blocks State Capitol Rules

Peter Gorman

Federal Judge William Conley has at least temporarily prevented the Walker administration from enforcing some rules it enacted at the state Capitol, following massive protests there in 2011.

Gov. Walker's administration has started requiring groups of protesters to obtain a permit to rally at the Capitol. The ACLU sued on behalf of an individual who visits the Capitol at noon to sing protest songs.

The judge has told the administration, it cannot enforce its rule requiring groups of fewer than 20 people to secure a permit to demonstrate and cannot distinguish between different types of gatherings when deciding whether to grant permits.

Conley's orders come in the form of a preliminary injunction, while the courts continue considering the constitutionality of the state rules.

The Walker administration claimed it had to adopt rules for Capitol behavior, so state government could conduct business without disruption.