Judge's ruling on Maine labor mural to be appealed

April 24, 2012 - 2:25 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Plaintiffs in Maine will appeal a federal judge's ruling that Gov. Paul LePage was within his rights when he had a mural depicting Maine's labor history removed from a state office building.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs announced Tuesday they have filed a notice of appeal in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

LePage ordered the 11-panel mural removed from a Labor Department waiting room last year because he considered it biased in favor of organized labor over business interests.

Five Mainers, including three artists, filed a lawsuit claiming the removal violated the mural artist's First Amendment rights.

In his ruling, Judge John Woodcock agreed with the administration's claim that the removal was a form of "government speech," a doctrine that says the government is free to express itself.