By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN / Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is suing to block the city of New Orleans from maintaining a so-called 'clean zone' where the use of banners, signs and flags will be restricted during Super Bowl festivities.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of an activist and a street preacher who claim the city's enforcement of a new ordinance and a code enforcement guide will trample on their free speech rights and limit their activities in the days leading up to the Feb. 3 game.

The ACLU claims the city adopted the new policies at the behest of the NFL.

A federal judge didn't immediately act on the group's request for a court order barring the city from enforcing the 'clean zone' limits.

'This is a great preliminary victory for our clients, who feel that the Clean Zone restrictions extend much too far and prohibit too many activities. We look forward to addressing the rest of the issues at Monday's conference,'said ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman.

There's a conference set for Jan. 28 to discuss the case.

Read the lawsuit

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