Repent America - Calling A Nation In Rebellion Toward God To Repentance
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For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Marcavage, Repent America, (800) 373-7368, Ext. 5 
PHILADELPHIA - The United States government recently filed a petition in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a rehearing in the case of United States of America v. Michael Marcavage, as well as permission to file a brief explaining why they believed the case should be reconsidered. On September 13, 2010, after a vote by a panel of 15 federal Third Circuit justices, the government's "Petition for Rehearing By the Panel En Banc" was ordered to be officially denied.  
The petition for rehearing was filed on behalf of the U.S. government by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, Assistant United States Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer and Assistant United States Attorney Richard W. Goldberg. Bewailing the Third Circuit's recent decision in favor of Marcavage, the multiple-page plea to the court claimed that Independence National Historical Park - which houses the Liberty Bell - "has suffered an unwarranted smear on its reputation" because of the court's ruling. The petition also expressed fears that the rangers involved in Marcavage's arrest "may be accused of violating their oaths to the Court and Constitution," and that the looming civil suit that is now proceeding against the United States government may create further adversity. On September 1, 2010, the Third Circuit released an order denying the government's request to file a brief in support of their petition, but the government, in its persistence, immediately asked the court to reconsider its decision. The request was again rejected on September 13, 2010 along with the government's petition for the case to be reheard.
The motion comes nearly two months after a three-judge panel with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals released a unanimous decision that overturned the convictions of Repent America Director Michael Marcavage for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the public sidewalk near the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. On July 16, 2010, Judges Michael Fisher, Thomas Hardiman and Robert Cohen issued a 52-page decision that struck down both of the government's claims against Marcavage: "Violating the Terms of a Verbal Permit" and "Interfering with an Agency Function." The decision, written by Judge Michael Fisher, concluded that "Marcavage's permit violation must be vacated because the verbal permit he was issued was invalid, and that his interference conviction must be vacated because it was obtained in violation of his First Amendment right to free speech." The court found, in coming to this conclusion, that the acting ranger's restrictions on Marcavage's speech were impermissibly content-based, and stated, "The government in effect ratified what it perceived as listener hostility to Marcavage's speech when it silenced that speech. That act, coupled with its impetus, constitutes a content-based restriction on speech." The decision also boldly declared, "If the government is looking for prejudice, it need look no further than its having sought and obtained Marcavage's conviction on a fatally flawed legal premise."
In October 2007, Marcavage had been arrested by supervising U.S. Park Ranger Alan Saperstein after rejecting a "verbal permit" to move to an unconstitutional "free speech zone" away from where he had been preaching. In June 2008, Marcavage was put on trial for two days and found "guilty" of two federal charges by U.S. Magistrate Judge Arnold C. Rapoport. He was fined $445, including costs, and placed on federal probation for one year. He was also barred from entering Independence National Historical Park or being on the public sidewalks surrounding the park for any reason without first notifying park authorities, and was ordered not to engage in free activities without first obtaining a permit, and only then in the "free speech zone." The ruling was immediately appealed, but was upheld a year later by U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis. The appeal then proceeded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which then unanimously overturned Marcavage's convictions.
Marcavage states that the government's recent attempt to reverse the ruling in United States of America v. Michael Marcavage demonstrates the great lengths that the U.S. government will go in its pursuit of punishment of those who dare to preach or speak on public property.
"It is a crying shame that in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - the birthplace of American freedom - the government is working to destroy freedom. Patrick Henry once declared, 'The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.' I am thankful that the Third Circuit stopped this abominable assault on the Constitution and the public proclamation of the Gospel. To God be the glory!" Marcavage concluded.

"For they intended evil against thee; they imagined an evil device, which they are not able to perform." - Psalm 21:11 
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!
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