Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Supreme Court rules against protester at military base
First Published Feb 26 2014 06:24 pm • Last Updated Feb 26 2014 07:24 pm

Washington • A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday against an anti-war activist who was barred from a protest area near the main gate at a California Air Force base.

The justices threw out an appeals court ruling that overturned the trespassing conviction of John Dennis Apel under a law giving commanding officers authority to prevent people from entering military installations.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Apel had been barred because of earlier protest activities from entering any part of Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast, including a designated protest area on a public highway that passes near the main gate.

Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that the law clearly puts the area under the authority of the base commander, even though the public is allowed to use the highway and other nearby land.

The decision didn’t addresss Apel’s First Amendment right of free speech, and he may be able to raise that argument before a California-based federal appeals court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested in a brief concurrence that Apel may well prevail on that claim.

Apel had been visiting the designated protest zone at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast for 14 years. He had previously run into trouble at the base when, in 2003, he threw 4 ounces of his own blood on the Vandenberg sign.

That incident led to the first of several orders barring him from entering any part of the base, including the protest area. The military owns the highway but grants the state and Santa Barbara County an easement so the public can use it. The protest zone was set up in the late 1980s as part of the settlement of a federal lawsuit.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.