LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A county leader’s proposal urging four Arkansas cities to impose a 180-day ban on performing music that promotes or incites violence has been overruled due to First Amendment rights to free speech.
Justice of the Peace Judy Green, D-Little Rock, proposed the idea for the ban in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville at the Pulaski County Quorum Court on Tuesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2tIxusT ) reported. The justices of the peace approved an amended resolution after an hour of discussion and input from community members.
“I knew (the original resolution) wasn’t going to pass,” Green said. “But I got your attention, especially the media.”
Green said her proposal opened a discussion on what kinds of action the community should take after recent instances of violence, including a nightclub shooting that left 28 people injured.
County Attorney Adam Fogleman said the resolution would’ve encouraged cities to adopt ordinances that would be contrary to constitutional law.
“We as a Quorum Court should be mindful of what we’re encouraging other cities to do,” said Justice of the Peace Curtis Keith, D-Mabelvale. “If it’s against the law, how can we as a Quorum Court sit up here and encourage them to do something that’s against the law?”
Justice of the Peace Donna Massey, D-Little Rock, revised the resolution to focus on encouraging “civil discourse among residents” and engaging “positive actions of empowerment and improvement of the community.”
“Anything is better than nothing,” Green said.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com