A pair of protesters who were arrested in 2020 for writing a pro-life message in chalk on the sidewalk have been vindicated in a Washington, D.C., court of appeals. The message they wrote was “Black Preborn Lives Matter,” before the police arrested them, but they have successfully argued that the impermanent chalk message was protected under freedom of speech and expression.
The appeals court ruled on August 15 that the Frederick Douglass Foundation (FDF) and Students for Life of America (SFLA) – two organizations that represented the defendants – had “plausibly demonstrated” that the police had violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights. The message was written on the sidewalk in front of a D.C. Planned Parenthood building.