May 31, 2017

Minnesota’s clothing ban turns voters into criminals

By Minnesota’s clothing ban turns voters into criminals

PLF’s Director of Communications Harold Johnson is joined by PLF Attorney Wen Fa and PLF Client Andy Cilek to discuss how The Supreme Court is being asked to review Minnesota’s speech-stifling restrictions on voter apparel.

The law tramples free speech rights by forbidding voters from wearing anything to the polls that might be interpreted as even slightly political or ideological, even if it has no relation to any candidate, ballot measure, or political party.

learn more about

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

On February 28, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in our case challenging a Minnesota election law that literally strips free speech rights from the backs of voters. A Minnesota state law prohibits voters from wearing “political” apparel at a polling place. This includes any t-shirt, button, or other item that identifies any political issue and even any organization that is known to take positions on political issues. Voters who wear AFL-CIO or NRA caps are told they must remove them before they can enter the polling place and vote. If they refuse, election officials take their names for possible prosecution and penalties up to $5,000. Lower courts upheld this law on the theory that government can ban all expression, besides voting, at a polling place.

Read more

What to read next