Tag Archives: Maryville

Street Preachers Wins Over City Ordinance in Court of Appeals

A street preacher has emerged victorious in his battle against a Maryville ordinance requiring he and fellow proselytizers apply for a permit to spread their message, reports the News Sentinel.
In an opinion released late Tuesday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional a Maryville ordinance that makes it “unlawful for any club, organization or similar group to hold any meeting, parade, demonstration or exhibition on public streets without some responsible representative first securing a permit.”
“We fully acknowledge Maryville’s legitimate interest in preserving order and safety on its streets,” the court opined in a decision delivered by Appellate Judge D. Michael Swiney. “Nothing in this opinion diminishes the right of municipalities to protect people on roadways. However, the particular measure at issue in this case fails to pass constitutional muster as it is vague, overly broad and affords too much discretion to the officials charged with issuing permits.”
The case began in November 2008 when street preacher Wallace Scott Langford, his adult stepson and his stepson’s friend “were screaming and shouting at passing motorists” their gospel message at one of Maryville’s busiest intersections — U.S. Highway 321 and Broadway, the opinion stated.
A video showed the trio “were holding signs and that, at times, the two adults other than (Langford) were passing back and forth through the crosswalk to and from the median,” the opinion noted. Langford was positioned at the Maryville Municipal Building at the same intersection.
Maryville Police Department officers asked the trio to leave, but they refused. Langford was then cited for failing to secure a permit to demonstrate. Langford was ultimately convicted, and attorney William Gribble appealed on his behalf.
Maryville attorneys argued it wasn’t the preaching that was an issue but the dangerousness of doing so at one of the city’s busiest intersections and contended the ordinance requiring a permit was constitutionally sound.
In its ruling, the appellate court agreed the ordinance and the enforcement of it was not targeted at street preaching. However, the court opined the ordinance cast too wide a net to pass constitutional muster.

Shuster for President (& a new planetary alignment in 2012)

From the News Sentinel:
MARYVILLE — Count David E. Schuster among those who want to be your president.
Except for the fact that he has no campaign treasury, no staff, no 50-state strategy and his name will appear on no ballot, his chances are as good as anyone else’s.
What he does have is a platform and a sign he made from scrap materials and placed out in front of his Blount County home. And a passel of YouTube videos.
….Schuster, who identifies himself as a “registered Republican,” has strong opinions on a broad spectrum of what he perceives as America’s ills, but he says neither major party seems to have solutions.
… Schuster does espouse some views that are markedly outside the usual Republican positions, such as declaring himself pro-choice.
“Everybody has to make their own decisions,” he said. “I’m not for the government interfering too much.” But he does say government “should be smaller.”
Schuster said he fears the nation could experience “another civil war” soon because of the concentration of wealth among a relatively small group of people and corporations, which he says has weakened the middle class. And he supports “pulling back” on foreign aid and using that money to benefit the people at home.
Schuster says he fears that a new world order is being created by the secretive Bilderburg Group and possibly the Bohemian Group on the West Coast.
Among Schuster’s other beliefs are that the March 11 quake off Japan and resulting tsunami were the result of a gravitational interaction between the Earth and the moon and that a predicted planetary alignment due Dec. 21, 2012, could cause Yellowstone’s volcanic landscape to erupt and other cataclysmic events, up to and including a modification of the plant’s shape.