Actor Noah Wyle has been ordered to appear at a Washington, D.C. court in person following his arrest in the U.S. capital last month (Apr12).
The former ER star was led away in handcuffs after joining a demonstration on Capitol Hill against plans to cut America's Medicaid program.
The proposals have sparked fears many elderly and disabled citizens will lose at-home medical care and be forced into nursing facilities.
Wyle and around 100 protesters for disability-advocacy group Adapt were detained, and now they have been called to appear before a court in the city on Tuesday (22May12).
According to People.com, the move has caused controversy as Adapt members have previously been allowed to be represented in court by lawyers, rather than being ordered to attend in person.
Group member Marsha Katz has slammed the move, telling Disability Scoop.com, "I'm shocked and angry. This is the first time in more than 20 years that the court wouldn't allow an attorney to represent us and wouldn't entertain a motion to postpone. Are they doing this to dissuade us from exercising our first amendment (freedom of speech) rights?"