United States v. Apel
What's at Stake
Whether someone who has been barred from a military base may subsequently be prosecuted for demonstrating outside the main gate of the base in a designated protest zone located on military property.
The defendant in this case was barred from re-entering Vandenberg Air Force Base by the base commander. Subsequent to receiving the bar order, he participated in peaceful protests outside the front gate of the base in a designated protest zone located adjacent to a public highway that is part of an easement granted by the military. He was then arrested and convicted for violating his bar order. Apel argues that the statute relied on by the government was never intended to reach his conduct and that his conviction cannot be sustained in any event under the First Amendment. The ACLU is acting as co-counsel for Apel in the Supreme Court.