PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that a group of protesters who were cited for trespassing on the steps of the state capitol were not exercising protected speech.

The protesters were cited twice in November 2008 after refusing to leave the capitol steps when they closed at 11 p.m.

The protesters argued that their trespassing citation violated their First Amendment rights. But the Supreme Court justices found last week that the rules forbidding people from staying on the steps weren't targeted specifically at the protesters, or at any kind of speech.

Instead, the justices say the rules were content-neutral, and therefore enforceable.

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