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Judge: Iowa State Fair can limit preacher location

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 11:14 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES (AP) — A judge has ruled that state troopers didn’t violate a preacher’s First Amendment rights by asking him to stop preaching near state fairgrounds.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt delivered the ruling Tuesday. Pratt says it was wrong for troopers to threaten to arrest Christian preacher Jason Powell last year. He says the fair has a legitimate interest in limiting where a person could stand so that attendees can move freely.

Powell was kicked off the fairgrounds after preaching near the main gates.

He wanted the judge to order fair officials to allow him access to this year’s fair which starts Thursday. Powell’s attorney says it’s unclear if his client will preach outside the fair this year.