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THAT DAMN ACLU!

Filed at 6:43 am under by dcobranchi

Always making outrageous demands.

Parkersburg City Council Tuesday will revisit an ordinance to repeal a ban on fortune-telling and related businesses in the city.

Passed in 1947, section 529.05 of the city code prohibits people from engaging in “palmistry, fortunetelling, astrology, phrenology or any kindred trade or profession having as its object the foretelling of happenings of future events” within Parkersburg city limits… In July, council voted 5-3, with one member absent, against the first reading of an ordinance repealing the law, despite attorney John Ellem, on Cooper’s behalf, offering examples of legal precedents showing such a law was unconstitutional.

Now some council members have rethought their stance, even before a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia was sent to city officials Thursday evening.

“Laws banning fortune-telling and similar activities were popular in the era in which Parkersburg’s ordinance was enacted,” says the letter from Jamie Lynn Crofts, legal director for the ACLU of West Virginia. “However, state and federal courts around the country have found such laws to be unconstitutional abridgements of free speech and free expression.”

A motion to renew the ordinance and the first reading of the ordinance are on the agenda for the council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We knew that (letter) was coming the minute it was voted down the first time, which still left my mouth agape,” Councilman J.R. Carpenter said…

Despite believing the law should no longer be enforced, [Mayor] Colombo did not appreciate the ACLU stepping in to the issue.

“All they do is try to create difficulties and problems for people,” he said.

So, they had data to show the current law was unconstitutional, voted to keep it anyway, and then bitch when the ACLU slaps their wrist?

Life in Parkersburg, WV!

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