MILITARY

Supreme Court won't hear appeal from protester banned from outside Calif. military base

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a man who was convicted of protesting outside a military base in California.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said officials did not violate the First Amendment rights of John Dennis Apel when they banned him from protesting near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The high court had ruled last year that Apel could be convicted of trespassing under a law giving commanding officers authority to prevent people from entering military installations. But it sent the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether the action infringed on his free speech rights.

Apel argued he had a right to be in a designated protest area on a public highway near the main gate.