Naperville Defends Constitutionality of Limits in Anti-Protest Law

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Byline: Ray Minor Daily Herald Staff Writer

Naperville's new anti-protest law is drawing fire from some who say it may violate the U.S. Constitution.

The law, unanimously approved this week by the city council, forces protesters to stay at least 300 feet from a school if they want to set up a picket line or protest.

Protesters cannot disrupt classes with chanting, loudspeakers or other noise. If they do, the law gives police authority to arrest them.

Abortion opponents believe the law is directed at them after they held a protest at Naperville Central High School earlier this year.

The protest included graphic pictures of fetuses. Abortion foes also handed out literature to students as they entered the school.

Police were called but there were no arrests and the protest ended.

City officials say the law isn't aimed at any group but was designed to clarify the city's position on protests.

"We tried to take the focus away from pickets," City Attorney Mike Roth said. …