Another Post Office Sidewalk Petitioning Case

For eight years, the constitutionality of the Post Office regulation prohibiting petitioning on postal interior sidewalks has been pending in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in a case called Initiative & Referendum Institute v US Postal Service. In the meantime, another federal lawsuit challenging the same regulation is pending in the First Circuit. The plaintiff, Reynaldo Del Gallo, is submitting his brief on July 25. He had lost in the U.S. District Court on March 28, 2008, but he was representing himself pro se. Since then, the ACLU has found an expert attorney for his appeal.

Del Gallo was arrested, even though technically he was not petitioning on a postal sidewalk. He was standing on the post office sidewalk, asking passers-by to please visit his petition circulator, standing on a “legal” sidewalk nearby. The Post Office charged him with “electioneering”. The Post Office attorneys did not tell the Massachusetts court that the constitutionality of the anti-petitioning regulation is being litigated in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, and the plaintiff didn’t know about that case.


Another Post Office Sidewalk Petitioning Case — 3 Comments

  1. Bizarrely, courts have ruled that private property, such as malls, MUST allow petitioners, yet government property, such as post offices, almost routinely chase away, or even prosecute, petitioners.
    Perhaps as much as any other situation, this demonstrates the sharp divide between the people and what is supposedly OUR government.

  2. This one is going to be real interesting. Let’s hope for the best.

    If he wins the case, I can imagine a bunch of pissed off Postal Directors all across the US who will have to suddenly deal with us petitioners. I’ve had tons of run-ins with Postal Officials. They’ve even tried to drive me off of public sidewalks that are not their property.

    I can’t wait to carry a copy of the ruling on my boards to stick it in their faces.

  3. Mike, only some courts have said this, not all. As for malls, we already know that they set up arbitrary areas that have absolutely no traffic.

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