Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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This file photo shows a mural depicting Maine's labor history. A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that Gov. Paul LePage was within his rights to remove the 11-panel mural from a state office building.
Young called on the governor to "keep his word and to now display the mural in an appropriate state building, such as the Maine State Museum, where people can learn about the men and women who have labored to build our great state."
During oral arguments earlier this month, Lynch said the mural was neither part of the state's public art program nor a private donation. She noted that the mural was purchased under a contract that gave the artist limited rights
In support of their argument, lawyers for the plaintiffs contended that the government did not effectively control the message of the artwork.
They noted, among other things, that the committee that selected Taylor instructed her on the subject matter but not the message, and that her contract confirmed her independence in its creation.
Maine Deputy Attorney General Paul Stern argued before the three-judge appeals panel that the plaintiffs weren't actually fighting for free speech.
"What they want is the speech they like to be there as long as possible," Stern said. "To say the First Amendment requires the state of Maine -- and the Department of Labor -- to have this mural there forever is wrong."
-- The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Staff Writer Eric Russell can be reached at 791-6344 or at: