The battle for peaceful expression of pro-life views goes to a new level in the case of one North Carolina man.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) are appealing a free speech case involving the rights of pro-life advocate Dennis Green.
Five years ago, Green was silenced by authorities in Raleigh for peacefully expressing his views on abortion in a public place.
Green was threatened with arrest for violating the city's so-called "permit process" and was warned his sign would be confiscated if he didn't leave the area.
"Christians shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. "Raleigh officials clearly violated Mr. Green's First Amendment right to publicly express his pro-life views."
In 2005, ADF filed suit on behalf of Green and then filed a federal appeal in the case in 2007.
But a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled against Green on April 16, last month.
Now, ADF is asking the same court to take another look at Green's case.
"The government can't require citizens to request permission before they exercise their First Amendment rights," Kellum said.
"The policy used by Raleigh officials to silence pro-life speech is clearly unconstitutional. The panel's decision stands in direct conflict with other 4th Circuit decisions, the decisions of other federal circuits, and even the U.S. Supreme Court," he added.
ADF attorneys are asking for either the panel or the full court to rehear the case because of key factual and legal matters the panel overlooked in its decision.