WILLIAMSPORT – The Harrisburg-area activist known for burning flags in protest has lost his candidacy for a preliminary injunction to prevent Lewisburg from enforcing his fire ordinance.
US Intermediate District Judge Matthew W. Brann on Tuesday dismissed Gene Stilp’s complaint, citing precedent that a federal court should not prohibit a state prosecution initiated before the complaint is filed, except on special occasions. very unusual.
Stilp had not established any extraordinary circumstance justifying his request for an injunction, he wrote, allowing the borough’s request for rejection.
Stilp, 70, was convicted and fined $ 1 for violating Lewisburg’s ordinance by burning flags in a steel container on March 12.
He is appealing the conviction to Union County court, saying the order amounts to a restriction on free speech.
Brann said he was not aware of any compelling reasons to deal with constitutional claims that could very well be raised in state court.
Stilp settled similar lawsuits against Harrisburg, Mifflinburg and Middleburg. Middleburg agreed to revise his order.
He has burned flags in more than two dozen communities to protest what he calls President Trump’s “horrible values” of racism, bigotry, hatred, white supremacy and ethnic bullying.