Federal judge says Philadelphia can refuse parade permits during COVID-19 pandemic

By AARON KATERSKY, ABC News

(PHILADELPHIA) — The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Society said the City of Philadelphia’s ban on large-scale events violated its First Amendment rights and treated its parade more harshly than demonstrations over racial injustice.

The judge said forcing the city to issue a parade permit during a pandemic could result in additional transmissions, illnesses and deaths. Philadelphia has rescinded some restrictions, so the judge noted that while there are no permits being issued, groups are not being prosecuted.

The top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, who backed the veterans group — said the unsuccessful lawsuit proved the city cannot ban parades and allow protests.

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