Home Energy and Environment Audio: Sen. Chap Petersen Discusses His 1st Amendment Lawsuit on Anti-Pipeline Protestors

Audio: Sen. Chap Petersen Discusses His 1st Amendment Lawsuit on Anti-Pipeline Protestors

"It is pretty much a straight-up first amendment issue about whether or not freedom of speech outweighs the government’s interest in police power"

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A few key points by Sen. Chap Petersen this morning (check out the audio, below): 1) he’s an attorney who protects people’s property rights, but “got more interested” in the Mountain Valley Pipeline protests from a first amendment perspective, “because the Forest Service, in order to keep people from protesting, had basically had shut down the entrance to the national forest in Giles County, and I didn’t think that was right”; 2) “my suit has to do with the first amendment [on federal land]…people are there protesting…supporting the woman called ‘Nutty’…the Forest Service cut off access to the road so people could no longer walk…or drive up the road to see what was going on, as a result they had to hike through the woods…very steep terrain…have to cross a couple creeks…effectively it prevented people from going up there to protest”; 3) whether you’re “pro-pipeline or anti-pipeline, the bottom line is it’s publicly owned property…if people want to go and protest, they have a right to do that”; 4) “we had an argument yesterday before Judge Dillon down in Roanoke…it is pretty much a straight-up first amendment issue about whether or not freedom of speech outweighs the government’s interest in police power, so that’s what we argued.”