Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A'Rundus Among Us

I really don't have an official comment on this story, other than I "officially" wanted to write that headline.

Blame the mediocre-at-best college copy editor in me, but it just had my favorite journalism professor's A+ written all over it... kinda like the time I was super hungover and forgot about my Advanced Editing class assignment to write headlines, and literally on my way to class wrote one titled "Feng Shui Your Way to a Casual Work Environment." Swear to God, I didn't know Shui was pronounced "Schway" and thus didn't know I was creating a witty rhyme. I got an A+.

Thereafter I was the class pet of my overly-critical professor who RARELY gave out As, much less A+s, and would detail out how rare it was every time he did. On your paper. Everyone hated me. I giggled often. But, I digress. Here's the article I couldn't give two shits about. See below.

Judge Has Finally Told Darrel Rundus What To Do With His Religious Tracts at the State Fair

By Robert Wilonsky

Wed., Sep. 30 2009 @ 11:28AM
Darrel Rundus
I'd forgotten all about Darrel Rundus till I took a peek at the agenda for tomorrow's Park and Recreation Board meeting, during which the board will go behind closed doors to discuss the 3-year-old federal lawsuit in which the preacher sued the city of Dallas and the State Fair of Texas for violating his First Amendment rights. For those needing a refresher course, we wrote all about this back in October of '06, but the short version is:

For years, Rundus -- who's apparently some kind of marketing genius? -- tried to pass out religious literature inside the fairgrounds during the Fair. But each time he was stopped by Dallas police officers and Fair officials, who said, sure, he could do his thing outside the Fair (like, on the public sidewalks), but not inside -- not unless he rented an exhibit space and stayed put. To which Rundus said: Federal lawsuit! And the thing worked its way through U.S. Magistrate Jeff Kaplan's court for three long years -- until September 16.

At that point, Kaplan had enough and ruled in the city and Fair's favor, as evidenced by the memorandum order and opinion you'll find below. (The brief judgment follows after the jump, as does the City Attorney's Office official position filed with the court last November.) As far as Kaplan's concerned, the city's got nothing to do with setting State Fair policy -- it is, after all, a private entity (since 1886!) that takes control of the fairgrounds for a few weeks each year -- and rules is rules.

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