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ACLU files lawsuit after college students detained for hanging protest banners at Statehouse

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the three college students who were detained after unfurling banners at the Kansas Statehouse in support of Medicaid expansion.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas said Thursday the Kansas restrictions suppress political expression.  It seeks a court order prohibiting Kansas from enforcing what ACLU contends are flawed policies.

The litigation stems from an incident last month involving Kansas State University students who hung large banners saying Republican legislators who oppose expanding Medicaid have “blood on their hands.”  The students were initially barred from the Statehouse for a year, but have since been reinstated.

House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, a conservative Republican singled out in one of the banners, says the rule is in place to prevent damage to the Statehouse.

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