published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Tennessee attorneys appeal Occupy Nashville ruling

In this 2011 file photo, Occupy Nashville protesters Frank Williams, right, and Tom Sweet, left, set a tent back up that was blown over by the wind.
In this 2011 file photo, Occupy Nashville protesters Frank Williams, right, and Tom Sweet, left, set a tent back up that was blown over by the wind.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — State attorneys on Tuesday served notice they are challenging last month's ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in Nashville who found Gov. Bill Haslam's administration violated the free speech rights of Occupy Nashville protesters arrested during 2011 demonstrations on War Memorial Plaza.

In a filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper's office said it is contesting U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger's June 12 ruling.

State Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and General Services Commissioner Steve Cates are listed on the appeal of the suit, filed against Haslam and top administration officials.

The state is contesting portions of Trauger's order denying defendants' defense of qualified immunity and the resulting findings on behalf of the plaintiffs on First Amendment, due process and Fourth Amendment violations.

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