A West Los Angeles anti-nuclear group has won a court order allowing it to distribute information to patrons of shopping malls.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California called Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kurt Lewin's ruling "a victory for freedom of speech."
Lewin granted a preliminary injunction that bars mall owners from preventing individuals or groups from entering a mall "simply to hand out information or talk to patrons," ACLU officials said. The ACLU had sued Culver City's Fox Hills Mall on the anti-nuclear group's behalf.
Members of Westside SANE/FREEZE were prevented from distributing information decrying nuclear testing by a policy that prohibited advocating political issues in the mall--with the exception of voter registration or circulation of ballot petitions, ACLU officials said.
Lewin reaffirmed on Wednesday a 1979 decision "which recognized that today's shopping malls are yesterday's town squares," said ACLU attorney Robin Toma.