The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a white supremacist group in its fight against York City's public assembly ordinance.
The Nationalist Movement challenged the city's request for an application and fees when it was planning a rally in 2002. Though a series of courts overturned much of the ordinance for violating the First Amendment, the Nationalists went to the Supreme Court hoping to also have a $50 to $100 permit fee struck down.
The city eventually allowed the group to hold the rally for $1, so the Nationalists never paid the fee themselves.
Nationalist attorney Richard Barrett said he was not surprised by the refusal because the Supreme Court takes only a small percentage of the cases appealed to it each year. The court did not give a reason when it refused the case on Tuesday.
Barrett said he still considers the Nationalists the winners in the court battle, which he said would bolster their cause.
"The Nationalists got what they wanted in the courts and from the city, and now we're going to move to get what we want for the American people," Barrett said.
York City Mayor John Brenner declined to comment on the Nationalist Movement's suit, saying he would not discuss anything relating to
"I can't even say their name without becoming violently ill," Brenner said.
Assistant city solicitor Don Hoyt also declined comment, and attorney James D. Young, who is representing the city in the case, did not return calls seeking information.
Barrett said he received a check from the city Friday for almost $50,000 in court costs and fees, awarded to the Nationalists in June by
Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
He said he would file a separate court motion asking for additional money: more than three months of interest on the payment the city made, costs and fees for the petition he filed to force payment, and costs and fees for his appeal to the Supreme Court.
Barrett said federal civil rights law requires the city to pay all costs and fees now that the Nationalist Movement has won on some points in lower courts.
A separate order, issued by U.S. Middle District Court Judge Yvette Kane last month, ordered the city to pay more than $40,000 in fees and costs but did not set a deadline.
--Reach Daina Klimanis at 505-5439 or dklimani firstname.lastname@example.org.