Today the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund notified the National Park Service that litigation was imminent and that permits, including for the Ellipse and other locations, had to be released immediately. We advised them that their withholding of space from the normal permitting process, and their giving the Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee the discretion to hold these spaces and keep demonstrators from receiving permits, was in violation of the permanent injunction obtained by the PCJF and entered against the NPS in 2008 in federal court. We gave them until close-of-business tomorrow (Friday) before filing for a preliminary injunction to force the release of space.
Hours after being notified of imminent litigation, the NPS and the Trump PIC reversed course and the NPS issued a statement that they were now releasing the Ellipse and other public spaces for permitted protests. This is a significant victory for free speech. It is shameful that the NPS stonewalled, and allowed the Trump PIC to stonewall, the ability of groups to obtain permits to exercise fundamental First Amendment rights until faced with legal action.