The Battle of Gettysburg

(Hanover) Evening Sun: Charges dropped against abortion rights activist
Sending love out to ACLU-PA staff attorney Paula Knudsen and volunteer attorney Steve Rice on this one. Adams County is not a constitution-free zone.

A man arrested during a January pro-abortion-rights rally in Gettysburg questioned the constitutionality of the borough ordinance he violated, his arrest and the charges against him.

So Adams County Assistant District Attorney Shane Crosby in court Tuesday withdrew two of the charges against Bruce Kerr Davis, essentially killing the constitutionality challenge at the criminal level.

Paula Knudsen, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Davis is considering challenging the ordinance’s constitutionality at the civil level.

Davis, 53, of York, still faces a single charge of disorderly conduct. And he will return to district court for a hearing.

I’d like to comment more, but since this is in the midst of litigation, we’ll leave it be.

Knudsen cited 18 cases from across the country to support her argument.

After the constitutionality challenge was eliminated, George addressed Knudsen, “I guess that makes your visit to Adams County moot.”

But Knudsen said she was – and still is – looking forward to arguing the case.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Andy in Harrisburg

5 thoughts on “The Battle of Gettysburg

  1. I personally want to thank Paula and Steve for their support and direction during this “great adventure”. I had planned on fighting the charges from the beginning, so was glad for the support and direction.

  2. I haven’t much experience with blogging so be patient with my submittals. My reaction to the incident in Gettysburg truly had little to do with the particular issue I was supporting, although womens’ reproductive rights is important. The issue really was the bedrock upon which this country was founded, free speech. When the Officer first approached I could have easily walked to my car and left, but when I thought about what I was “really” asked to do I thought of our fore fathers and how they might have responded. I simply had to say “No, I don’t think I need to leave.” Anything less than that response for me would have been turning my back on my responsibilities as a citizen of this country. If we allow our rights as individuals to be slowly whittled away, we will all wake up one day and wonder how it was that we let the state become so large and powerful.

  3. Bruce, I’m glad you were not intimidated. I hope you get the chance to do away with the ordance at the civil, if not the criminal, level.

    Good Luck!

  4. Update to the court case…We had our initial day in court on Aug 1st. The DA worked a plea arrangement where 1 of the misdemeanor charges was dropped and the Borough ordinance charge were dismissed with prejudice. On the remaining misdemeanor charge, the DAs office was given 20 days to reissue a summary citation for the remaining distrubing the peace charge to be heard in the magisterial court (which previously dismissed the resisting arrest charge). I recently received not 1 but 3 summary citations for various levels of disturbing the peace. They require action within 10 days (and a $50 fee/citation)if pleading not guilty. There is no doubt how I will plead and also no doubt that I WILL NOT submit $50/ citation to the court, as they total would equal what the fine would be on one of the counts. No thanks. Pending the decision in the magisterial court we may yet reappear in trial court. After consulting with Steve and Paula I will persue other avenues for seeking a just resolution to these charges. I do plan on persuing civil action against the Borough of Gettysburg and its ordinances regarding freedom of speech. They do not yet know the level of my commitment in the support of the rights of the individual over the State. more later

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