Judge throws out Wis. Capitol protest case

      The dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol (file photo).
      The dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol (file photo).
      MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A judge has struck down permit rules being used to prosecute outstanding tickets against Wisconsin Capitol protesters.

      A Dane County judge Wednesday dismissed a ticket against Michael Crute.

      The judge found state rules requiring small groups of protesters in the statehouse to obtain a permit were unconstitutional.

      The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the ruling has a limited effect because of a settlement in a prior case.

      To settle a federal free speech lawsuit, Gov. Scott Walker's administration agreed in October to pay more than $88,000 in attorneys fees and drop its requirement that larger groups protesting in the Capitol receive a permit.

      However, the administration and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have continued to pursue outstanding citations issued before the settlement.

      The state Justice Department is reviewing the ruling.