New York City transit agency moves to ban all political ads

    New York City transit agency lawyers are telling a judge who ordered the authority to display a controversial bus ad that it will vote on a plan to ban all political advertisements.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s letter was sent to Judge John Koeltl on Friday. The judge had ordered the MTA to accept a pro-Israel advocacy group’s political advertisement containing the phrase “Hamas Killing Jews” because it is protected speech.

    MTA lawyer Peter Sistrom says the agency has long considered revising its advertising policy. He says the planned vote was not a hasty reaction to Koeltl’s ruling.

    The American Freedom Defense Initiative had sued so the ad could be displayed.

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    Its lawyer David Yerushalmi says the ban is “poorly conceived.” He says the MTA cannot wish away a constitutional violation.

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