U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Challenging Political Apparel Laws

scrappy22The highest court in the land will hear the case of Minneapolis resident, Andrew Cilek who, during the 2010 midterm elections, was denied the right to vote by his county citing voter polling laws: maintaining a political content-free zone within 100 feet to 1000 feet depending on the state.

There is, however, one exemption: bumper stickers on cars, but what about content on t-shirts? Clearly, election2political apparel influences voters, but what constitutes political content?

According to USA Today, Cilek “was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Don’t Tread on Me with a Tea Party logo and a button that said Please I.D. Me. The state has no photo identification requirement.” That violation was enough to deny Cilek the right to vote. He sued. The court sided with the county, who responded stating, “the interior of a polling place is a nonpublic forum in which speech restrictions are constitutional as long as they are reasonable and viewpoint neutral.”

 

Wen Fa , Attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation appealed the decision claiming that Cilek’s and others are expressing the constitutional right to express their ideas and values. There have been cases in past, but the content was printed on political signs.

What do you think? Can a t-shirt influence your vote at the polls?

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