- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MARION, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa civil rights group is warning an eastern Iowa city to stop enforcing a local ordinance that requires a permit to hold a political sign on a sidewalk.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says it sent a letter Tuesday to Marion leaders demanding an end to enforcement of the ordinance after receiving a complaint from Rick Stewart. The ACLU says Stewart was holding a sign in September supporting presidential candidate Gary Johnson while standing in a public median. Stewart says a police officer told him city law required him to have a permit to hold a “political demonstration.”

The ACLU says the First Amendment protects the rights of picketers on public sidewalks.

Police Chief Joseph McHale said Tuesday he had not had a chance to read the letter and couldn’t yet comment.

A phone messages left Tuesday for the city was not immediately returned.

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