The Chicago chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed reports here today that the ACLU plans to represent George Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party, in the latter’s appeal against a permanent injunction issued here several weeks ago, forbidding the Nazi leader to stage marches or parade in Jewish neighborhoods during Jewish holidays.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Sam Ferry issued a temporary injunction just before the last High Holy Days, and made it permanent after the holidays. Rockwell’s attorneys at that time filed notice of appeal.
Jay Miller, ACLU chapter executive director here, said today that the civil liberties group had not solicited an opportunity to represent Rockwell in the appeal, but had acceded to the request by his attorneys that it represent him on appeal.
Mr. Miller said two attorneys will be assigned to the case. The appeal, he declared, will be based on Rockwell’s right to enjoy freedom of speech and assembly under the First Amendment, and an effort will be made to convince a higher Federal court that a Nazi march would not disrupt religious services as long as the Nazis did not actually enter a synagogue or block access into a Jewish house of worship.
“We feel,” said Mr. Miller, “that this injunction is a bad precedent. It is the first time this has been done by a court that we know of. We are interested in constitutional issues, not in Rockwell.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.