Wisconsin appeals court rules Capitol protest policy was unconstitutional

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MADISON, Wisconsin — A Wisconsin appeals court says a state requirement that singers in the state Capitol obtain a permit was unconstitutional.

The case involves Michael Crute, who was cited for joining in a daily sing-along protest in the Capitol rotunda in July 2013. State rules then prohibited anyone from participating in or watching an unpermitted event in state buildings.

Crute argued the regulations violated his free speech rights. A Madison judge tossed out his ticket in February. The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Thursday, ruling the regulations weren't narrowly written to further a significant state interest.

The state and the American Civil Liberties Union reached a settlement in October 2013 allowing unpermitted events at the Capitol.

A state Justice Department spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

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