Judge throws out Wis. Capitol protest case

CREATED Feb 5, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has struck down permit rules being used to prosecute outstanding tickets against Wisconsin Capitol protesters.
   
A Dane County judge Wednesday dismissed a ticket against Michael Crute.
   
The judge found state rules requiring small groups of protesters in the statehouse to obtain a permit were unconstitutional.
   
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the ruling has a limited effect because of a settlement in a prior case.
   
To settle a federal free speech lawsuit, Gov. Scott Walker's administration agreed in October to pay more than $88,000 in attorneys fees and drop its requirement that larger groups protesting in the Capitol receive a permit.
   
However, the administration and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have continued to pursue outstanding citations issued before the settlement.
   
The state Justice Department is reviewing the ruling.