The government has a "legitimate interest" in prohibiting demonstrations on Supreme Court grounds, the Justice Department asserted in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Monday.
In the case Hodge v. Talkin, the department is urging the circuit court to restore the law banning assemblages, processions and displays on court property, 40 U.S.C. 6135. Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the law in June, declaring it to be "unreasonable, substantially overbroad, and irreconcilable with the First Amendment."
Soon after Howell's decision, the marshal of the court Pamela Talkin issued a new "Regulation Seven" banning protests, this time invoking a different law, 40 U.S.C. 6012, which authorizes her to establish rules to maintain "suitable order and decorum." The new rule has been challenged in separate lawsuit, Miska v. Talkin.