Ohio Citizen Action

Jehovah’s Witnesses, ACLU file ‘friend of the court’ briefs in Ohio Citizen Action canvassing case

CLEVELAND — Two prominent organizations with long histories of defending the First Amendment have filed “friend of the court” briefs on behalf of Ohio Citizen Action in its appeal of a case involving canvassing restrictions in Englewood, Ohio. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio have weighed in against Englewood’s law. The appeal is being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, after a lower court upheld Englewood’s 6 p.m. curfew on all types of door-to-door activities. Watchtower was the lead plaintiff in thelandmark U.S. Supreme Court case in 2002, known as Watchtower v. Stratton, where the court decisively upheld First Amendment canvassing rights. The ACLU is a well-known defender of the Bill of Rights, and has litigated hundreds of cases in support of First Amendment freedoms.

Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action