Feds pay $80,000 to couple arrested for wearing Bush protest T-shirts

On July 4, 2004, Nicole and Jeffery Rank attended President Bush's speech at the West Virginia State Capitol. They were handcuffed, arrested and charged with trespassing for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts. They sued the federal government. Yesterday they settled their suit for $80,000.

The front of their homemade T-shirts had a picture of Bush and the international "no" symbol over his face. The back of Nicole's shirt read "Love America, Hate Bush." The back of Jeffery Rank's T-shirt read "Regime Change Starts at Home."

"This settlement is a real victory not only for our clients but for the First Amendment," said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of West Virginia. "As a result of the Ranks' courageous stand, public officials will think twice before they eject peaceful protesters from public events for exercising their right to dissent."


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