Now the masked men and women are back. A federal judge on Wednesday issued an injunction that essentially tells the city of L.A. to back off -- these characters have freedom-of-speech rights and can be on the boulevard if they want to.
The move is temporary but should allow the guys in tights to hang out at their favorite spot -- Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue -- again.
The superheroes, known for sometimes aggressive panhandling and a few fistfights over customers, were swept from the area in June.
The judge said that's not right.
U.S. District Judge Dean D. Dean Pregerson said enforcement of anti solicitation, loitering
and sidewalk blocking laws conflicted with the superheroes rights free speech. They could indeed ask for tips and perform on the sidewalk, the judge ruled.
"This is a victory for the First Amendment,'' the character's lawyer, Carol Sobel said. "The
characters are Hollywood.''
(By the way, the city if 0 for 2 in recent free-speech-related battles. Does anyone see a pattern here?).