- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - A judge says Chicago’s City Council must allow public comment at all meetings, instead of just during committee hearings.

Tuesday’s ruling by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Larsen says not allowing speakers at full council meetings violates the Open Meetings Act.

Larsen didn’t immediately enforce the order, allowing time for new public comment rules.

City law department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says the city is considering legal options. He says Chicago already provides a “robust” public comment system and taking more comments at full council meetings is “duplicative and unnecessary.”

Two longtime Chicago activists brought the lawsuit after saying their access to city council meetings earlier this year was limited. One activist, Andy Thayer, says it’s important for people to express themselves in a meaningful way.

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