A win for First Amendment, sort of, in the polling place

Thursday, June 21, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

"I voted today" t-shirtVoters are now allowed to wear common political messages when casting a vote but we may not have heard the last of the issue.

In the case known as Minnesota Voters Alliance v Mansky, U.S. Supreme Court justices struck down a Minnesota law that prevented people from wearing "any political badge, political button, or other political insignias."

Pacific Legal Foundation represented Minnesota voters, including Andy Cilek, who showed up at his polling place wearing a t-shirt that read "Don't Tread On Me."

A poll worker not only prevented Cilek from voting for five hours but also took down his name for possible prosecution.

Citing the high court's ruling, attorney Dave Breemer of PLF says government cannot constitutionally prohibit you from wearing a shirt that promotes the "MeToo" movement, the NRA, or features the text of the Second Amendment.

"There may be cases in the future that have to be taken on their own basis," he acknowledges. "The Court didn't say, Well, all of this type of shirt is allowed and all of that type of shirt is not allowed. What they said is that these common political things like MeToo, NRA, these group affiliations, can't be barred, but it didn't go farther than that."

That means we may have cases where, in a particular election, election officials may try to bar a different type of shirt, maybe a campaign slogan or a satirical campaign slogan.

The ruling marked the 10th victory for Pacific Legal Foundation at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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