A Washington federal district judge heard arguments today on whether to allow a controversial ad with the message, "Support Israel/Defeat Jihad," to be posted in Metro rail stations over the public safety-related objections of agency officials.
Today's hearing took place less than two weeks after the same ad went up in New York subway stations, following a Manhattan federal judge's finding that transit officials had run afoul of the First Amendment. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer did not rule from the bench, saying she needed more time to consider a case that she did not find clear-cut.
The ad reads: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man," with the tag, "Support Israel/Defeat Jihad." The American Freedom Defense Initiative, the New York-based group behind the ad, sued the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on September 20, two days after the agency told the group that it would not allow the ads to go up as planned in stations on September 24.