Republican efforts to squelch free speech come back to haunt . . . Delaware?
A group of women who where preemptively tossed out of a Delaware book signing involving former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have settled their civil rights lawsuit against the Delaware State Police.
The four were forced from the Barnes & Noble on Concord Pike in August 2005 by an off-duty trooper working security after a member of Santorum’s group overheard the women discussing their opposition to some of the Senator’s policies and asked they be removed.
The women filed suit, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, last year alleging their free speech rights were violated.
As part of the settlement announced by the ACLU today, the state police will pay $15,000 for the legal fees and costs of the plaintiffs and adopt new policies and training programs for officers on the free speech rights of protesters.
As part of the settlement, the two staffers who requested the women be ejected â€” Ellen Melrose and Becky Barrett-Toomey â€” will also send the plaintiffs a letter of regret and pay them $2,500 in damages, the amount they were paid by the Santorum campaign, through a PR firm, to assist at the event.
And where’s Little Ricky through all of this?