Federal judge: Occupy Columbia protestors can stay

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A federal judge ruled in favor of Occupy Columbia protestors on Wednesday.

In granting the temporary restraining order against Governor Nikki Haley, Judge Cameron McGowan Currie said the protestors can stay on the State House grounds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with tents and sleeping bags.

Outside the courthouse one of the protestors said "I think it's a great day in South Carolina," seemingly mocking Haley's mandated phone greeting for state workers.

7 of 19 protesters arrested Nov. 16 for trespassing sued Haley and public safety officials, arguing their First Amendment rights were trampled when they were arrested for demonstrating on public property.

Wednesday was day 61 of the protestors' "occupation" of the State House grounds. In November, a circuit judge granted a temporary restraining order allowing Occupy Columbia to resume its 24-hour protest without threat of arrest. An extension of that order was to end Thursday evening.

Related stories:

"Occupy Columbia" protestors granted 15 extra days

Governor backs down after protesters challenge State House curfew

Occupy Columbia protesters return to State House, vow to continue 

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.