The public sidewalks outside of the entrances to the House of Representatives and the Senate, in Washington, DC, have had a ban on protests enforced by Capitol police for the last 30 years. On Friday, an appellate three-judge panel lifted the ban:
No site is more attractive to protesters than the sidewalk and steps that lead to the entrances of the House and Senate chambers, where members of Congress, their staffs, lobbyists and tourists pass each day. But protesters have been banned from passing out leaflets there, holding signs or staging vocal demonstrations. They have been allowed to wear expressive T-shirts or buttons.Peaceful demonstrations are an important part of a democracy, expecially at the site where most federal laws are made.