Supreme Court Set To Decide Major Free Speech Case, Involving The Tea Party
Article from Reason by Damon Root.
Does the Constitution permit state governments to create “speech-free zones” that ban political attire within 100 feet of a polling place on election day, even if that attire does not mention a candidate, a campaign, or even a political party? Or does the First Amendment protect the citizenry’s right to wear such attire while casting a ballot?
The U.S. Supreme Court will tackle those questions later this term when it hears oral arguments in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. The justices agreed to take up the case yesterday.
At issue is a Minnesota statute declaring that “a political badge, political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at or about the polling place on primary or election day.” The ban applies to all apparel “designed to influence and impact voting” or “promoting a group with recognizable political views.”
Andrew Cilek, the executive director of the conservative group Minnesota Voters Alliance, ran afoul of the law in 2010 when he tried to vote wearing a t-shirt adorned with an image of the Gadsen Flag, the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me,” and a Tea Party Patriots logo. Cilek was also wearing a “Please I.D. Me” button from the conservative group Election Integrity Watch.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: Joe Ravi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons