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BOISE -- A federal judge issued a ruling Wednesday barring Idaho from removing tents used by Occupy Boise protesters on state grounds.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said in a decision released one day after listening to oral arguments that the around-the-clock tent ban violated the group's First Amendment rights.

The court had already found that Idaho lawmakers passed seven unconstitutional rules restricting the protesters from camping on state-owned property. The Idaho Legislature revoked those rules during the 2014 session, making that part of the Occupy Boise lawsuit moot.

Winmill has previously ruled that Idaho can bar overnight camping on state grounds but limiting political protests violates the U.S. Constitution.

Winmill added that Idaho has a history of targeting the Occupy protesters.

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