Court Upholds Burlington Decision On Sidewalk Preacher

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A sidewalk preacher who fought a warning for preaching too loudly is facing another setback in court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York yesterday upheld a ruling dismissing the First Amendment challenge to a warning issued by Burlington police.

William Ray Costello was issued a warning by police in 2007 for yelling on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, in violation of the city’s noise ordinance.

A police officer told Costello to lower his voice, but Costello said he had a right to preach the gospel with a loud voice. After being given a written warning, he filed a civil suit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

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