12/04/13: The New York Times reports John D. Apel says his First Amendment rights were violated when he was convicted for entering an area set aside for protests near the main entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base, from which he had been banned. But the Supreme Court justices did not seem interested in Mr. Apel’s free speech rights on Wednesday during arguments in his case. Mr. Apel had been barred from the base, in Santa Barbara County, Calif., after earlier convictions for vandalism and trespass. But he said those orders should not apply to an area open to the public on the other side of a painted green line that separates the closed part of the base from the Pacific Coast Highway. But Justice Antonin Scalia said the question before the court did not involve the First Amendment. That left a much narrower question about the reach of the federal law under which Mr. Apel was convicted. It forbids people to re-enter military installations from which they have been barred. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in California, ruled for Mr. Apel on statutory rather than constitutional grounds. It said the federal government could not enforce the law because Mr. Apel had been standing on property partly controlled by the state and county.