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.

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Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a polling-place dress code in Minnesota, upholding free speech rights across the nation and protecting the right of Americans to peacefully express their political views at the polls.

PLF represented Minnesota voters, including Andy Cilek, who showed up at his polling place wearing a t-shirt that read “Don’t tread on me.” State law bans voters from wearing any “political” apparel at a polling place. This includes any t-shirt, button, or other items that could be construed as political, or even organizations that take political positions such as the AFL-CIO or NRA. A poll worker not only prevented Andy from voting for five hours, but also took down his name for possible prosecution.

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