[T]he U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday struck down curbs imposed by Seattle on those performing at the popular Seattle Center, home of the landmark Space Needle.
Michael "Magic Mike" Berger, a busker who sculpted balloon figures and dazzled children with sleight-of-hand tricks, prevailed in his seven-year challenge of the constitutionality of Seattle's 2002 rules regulating street performers. The city had required them to obtain permits, wear badges, refrain from soliciting gratuities, stay away from "captive audiences" and work only within designated sites....
"The city has been trying to turn Seattle Center into a government-controlled place that is very convenient for commercial interests and hostile to freedom and free speech," [Berger] wrote, concluding that "the city needs to wake up and read the Constitution."
June 25, 2009
Get out your balloons! Get out your bongos and dulcimers! And go west!