UCLA officials today hailed a federal court judge's decision upholding the constitutionality of a city ordinance banning animal rights protesters from getting close to professors' homes.
The Los Angeles ordinance bans political protests from with 100 feet of the homes of targeted individuals. In a statement posted on its website, the research university termed the ordinance "critical to UCLA's efforts to protect its researchers from an organized campaign of harassment by anti-animal research extremists.''
In a ruling made Thursday, U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz rejected a claim by four protesters, three of whom were arrested in 2010 for protesting near the home of a UCLA researcher who has used live animals for medical research. Matz ruled that state courts have already rejected claims that the city ordinance unduly impacts free speech rights.
"This ruling affirms UCLA's right to protect our researchers by enforcing existing municipal ordinances,'' said Kevin Reed, UCLA's vice chancellor for legal affairs.