The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is reporting that the California Court of Appeal is considering the constitutionality of a Sacramento-area shopping mall's attempt to prevent adult patrons from talking to each other about controversial topics, such as religion and politics.
The case arose after a youth pastor, Matthew Snatchko, was arrested at the Roseville Galleria Mall in 2007 for striking up a casual conversation with two other shoppers about faith, according to the Examiner website.
Although Snatchko had first obtained the shoppers' permission to broach the subject, a nearby store employee disapproved and called mall security guards, who arrested Snatchko. Criminal charges were later dropped, but attorneys with PJI filed suit to challenge the mall's tight restrictions on speech.
Under the mall's rules, shoppers are not allowed to engage in conversations about potentially controversial topics -- like religion or politics -- unless they already know the person to whom they are talking.