Mark Chase allowed to sell art on Ocean City Boardwalk, judge says

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A U.S. District judge in Baltimore has ruled that Ocean City cannot prevent an artist from selling his work on the Boardwalk until a trial is held on the matter.

The Rutherford Institute of Charlottesville, Va., filed a suit on behalf of Mark Chase, saying the town violated his First Amendment rights by restricting where he can produce his art and keeping him off the boardwalk. Chase is a spray-paint artist.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Ellen Lipton Hollander enjoined Ocean City from enforcing restrictions on the sale of "expressive material" by street performers such as Chase and the requirement that street performers register with the town, pending trial.

Hollander noted that Ocean City had not shown any compelling reason for forbidding Chase from selling his artwork on the boardwalk.