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Gov. Jerry Brown approves limits on funeral protests

Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court, as a counter-protester carries a U.S. Marine Corps flag. Gov. Jerry Brown has approved limits on funeral protests.Protesters on public property will need to stay 300 feet away when picketing funerals, thanks to new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

That bill was part of the latest batch approved by the governor. The full story ran in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times. 

Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have set a 1,000-foot buffer zone around funerals, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the protests are constitutionally protected free speech. 

The bill's author, Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), revised his proposal with a 300-foot limit to mirror restrictions enacted by President Obama in August. Brown did not issue a signing statement explaining why he signed the revised legislation. 

The American Civil Liberties Union continued to oppose the bill. 

"The government doesn’t get to silence people because it finds what they are saying or where they are saying it to be offensive," said Abdi Soltani, executive director of the ACLU of Northern California, in a statement.

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Immigrant-rights groups divided over bills on Gov. Brown's desk

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
twitter.com/chrismegerian

Photo: Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court, as a counter-protester carries a U.S. Marine Corps flag. Credit: Amy Davis / Baltimore Examiner and Washington Examiner

 
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