FOUNDATION ASKS U.S. SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW EVANGELIST'S ARREST WHILE PREACHING IN SALEM
attorneys at the Foundation For Moral Law, a religious liberties legal organization led by Judge Roy Moore, has filed a petition for certiorari review in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the Court to review his "disorderly conduct" conviction for peacefully preaching the gospel with a megaphone in Salem, Mass. on Halloween night 2007. As the Foundation argued in the lower courts, Marcavage's petition explains that he had a right under the Salem city code to preach the gospel with a megaphone until 10:00 p.m., but that Salem police confiscated his megaphone and arrested him at 8:30 p.m. that night. (See the video of his arrest here.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
Evangelist Michael Marcavage of Repent America
, through his
Click here to read Marcavage's petition to the Supreme Court.
Attorney Ben DuPré of the Foundation for Moral Law stated, "The Salem police clearly overstepped their authority when they grabbed Michael Marcavage's megaphone. He was peacefully preaching the Christian gospel to a crowd that needed to hear it, even if they did not like it." Although the Massachusetts courts have insisted the police were just trying to prevent any potential safety risk, DuPré said that the Supreme Court's free speech cases don't allow that excuse: "The Supreme Court has rejected the so-called heckler's veto as a reason to silence a speaker. In this case, there was only an imaginary or future heckler, not a real one. So we believe the Court will seriously consider granting review of this case and righting the constitutional wrongs Michael suffered in Salem."
Marcavage argues in his petition that the police censorship was a violation of his constitutional rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and equal protections of the laws. He also argues that his right to due process of law was violated because the trial court found him guilty for the confiscation of the megaphone even though the prosecutor never argued that the confiscation was the basis for the charge; rather, the prosecutor focused on Marcavage's evangelism conduct earlier in the evening.
Marcavage's conviction was affirmed by the Massachusetts Appeals Court on Dec. 23, 2009, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declined to hear the case on March 31, 2010. (Read Marcavage's appellate brief filed in the Mass. Appeals Court here.)
|About Repent America
Repent America (RA) is an evangelistic organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which zealously labors to further the Kingdom of God through Biblical evangelism. RA is a small operation with a BIG mission as it reaches out to tens of thousands of people each month with the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Whether it be the public proclamation of the Gospel message (Romans 10:14-15), opening thy mouth for the voiceless (Proverbs 31:8-9), preaching to the poor and comforting the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18), warning the wicked of their way (Ezekiel 33:8-9), or working to preserve our liberties to do so, Repent America continues to "fight the good fight of faith." (1 Timothy 6:12) Please join in the fight with us by clicking here to make a donation to keep us on the streets as we continue to impact America with the truth of God's Word!