On October 5, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to post the controversial "Defeat Jihad" ad in rail stations. This past Friday, Collyer issued a 17-page opinion (PDF) explaining her decision, saying that while the ad did contain "hate speech," it was protected under the First Amendment.
The New York-based group behind the ad, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, sued Metro after learning that the agency was delaying its contract to post the ad. Metro officials claimed that they had a compelling public safety interest, but Collyer found that they failed to meet the "strict scrutiny" standard for restricting protected speech.
Collyer wrote that while Metro did have a compelling security interest, officials failed to choose the least restrictive option to achieve that goal. "WMATA’s failure to consider alternative placements plus the open-ended and purely subjective duration of its postponement were not narrowly tailored as required," she said in her opinion.