SCOTUS to Hear New Case Challenging Minnesota’s Polling Place Apparel Rules

[Image via talkingpointsmemo]

Almost four years ago, I wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear a case challenging Minnesota’s rules regarding political attire in the polling place. Now, another variation of that case has made it back to the Court – which announced yesterday it will hear the appeal. Reuters has the story:

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a conservative group’s free speech challenge to a Minnesota law prohibiting voters from wearing T-shirts or other apparel adorned with overtly political messages inside polling stations. [The case is Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, 16-1435 (docket) – DMCj]

A group called the Minnesota Voters Alliance is appealing a lower court’s decision to uphold the law, which forbids political badges, buttons or other insignia inside polling places during primary or general elections. State election officials have interpreted the law as also barring campaign literature and material from groups with political views such as the conservative Tea Party movement or the liberal MoveOn.org. 

Violators are asked to cover up or remove offending items, but officials are instructed not to bar anyone from voting.

The Minnesota Voters Alliance, a St. Paul-based group that says it seeks to expose voter fraud, and several other organizations sued in 2010 claiming state officials turned polling places into “speech-free zones,” violating the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protection of freedom of speech.

Other states including Texas, New Jersey and Delaware have regulations similar to Minnesota‘s, according to court filings.

The group’s executive director, Andrew Cilek, was temporarily prevented from voting for wearing a T-shirt bearing the Tea Party logo and a button that stated, “Please I.D. Me.” The button was part of a campaign opposing the state’s lack of a photo identification requirement for voting, court papers said.

In rulings in 2013 and 2017, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld the Minnesota restrictions, suggesting the law helps maintain “peace, order and decorum” at polling sites.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation conservative legal group, appealed to the Supreme Court saying a total ban on political speech unrelated to candidates or ballot initiatives is overly broad. The high court has allowed states to ban campaign materials and active vote solicitation at polling places, but not all political speech, the plaintiffs said.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case is a good sign for First Amendment rights,” foundation lawyer Wen Fa said in an email.

A spokesman for Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon declined to comment but state officials said in legal papers the law is neutral with respect to individuals’ viewpoints.

As the article suggests, this case will test the limits of rules against political attire, which are familiar and widely enforced across the country. Barring any huge surprise, explicitly campaign-related items will still be prohibited, but the Court will give guidance on the degree to which other political speech will be allowed on attire at the polls. As I’ve noted before, the rule of thumb is that the Court “doesn’t grant cert to affirm” (i.e. doesn’t usually take a case simply to agree with the ruling), which means there is a real possibility these rules could be changing in the foreseeable future. I’ll keep an eye on this case and let you know when the argument is scheduled and any further developments in the case. Stay tuned …

17 Comments on "SCOTUS to Hear New Case Challenging Minnesota’s Polling Place Apparel Rules"

  1. Attractive component of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to
    claim that I acquire in fact loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your augment or even I success you get admission to persistently quickly.

  2. Great website. A lot off useful inf here. I’m sending it
    to some pals ans additionally sharing inn delicious. And obviously, thanks on your sweat!

  3. Fitbit CFO Invoice Zerella told the Fool during a telephone interview on the day off thhe IPO that the corporate
    will noot be nervous about rivals.

  4. Whereas we have now to give it credit scorde (blame?) foor basically starting the
    whole fitness tracker craze, the Nike+ Fuelband sucks.

  5. The truth is, it is grown att such an insane pricfe that analysts
    aree already projecting shipments to reach forty two million units oover the following 4 years.

  6. Get extra nutritional info, the very best train programs, fitness motivation and a FREE e book
    with over 100 ideas for shedding stomach fats rigght here.

  7. GPS automobile tracking systems are installed iin virtually every automobile in a fleeet in the
    present day.

  8. It’s also possible to monitor yyour eating patterns and youyr weight
    loss plan, which is absolutely featured, unlike lots of the otherr wristband displays.

  9. Hiya! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you kniw how to make youur site mobile friendly?

    My website looks weird when browsing from myy apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to correct tis issue. If you have aany
    recommendations, please share. Cheers!

    Here is mmy homepage; Bandarqq Online

  10. Situs Judi BandarQQ Online Terpercaya

  11. hi! my name si naila im from indonesia and my age is 20 this year. i really like playing gambling sites like poker online, pkv games and other.

  12. situs judi poker online terpercaya dan terbaik memberikan bonus terbesar dan bonus mingguan!

  13. situs judi casino online dan judi bola terpercaya di server sbobet maupun maxbet
    terlengkap!

  14. situs taruhan judi online indonesia yang menyediakan banyak pilihan permainan seru

  15. gabung sekarang juga dalam permainan seru di indonesia dan juga menyediakan provider terlengkap

  16. kumpulan situs 2020

  17. So if you think your child is smart enough to do that
    then make sure you block access to Play Store and your device settings
    (more on that later). Phone sex, especially when you do it with
    a professional is an extremely safe, anonymous and most importantly fun way relieve sexual
    frustrations and fantasize about scenarios that,
    for whatever reason you can’t play out in real life. Post that, you need
    to enter the IP Address and DNS 1, DNS 2 address as follows.
    This might sound unusual but if you happen to
    share an IP address with porn sites or others of a dubious nature, you will
    be glad to have your own. This is free but is a faff to do, unless you already
    have a Chaturbate account. You can also create a new Google account for your kids
    and allow them to access a curated list of apps from teachers and top institutes.

    Moreover, you can create a free account in OpenDNS and choose
    your filter level from low to high. If OpenDNS doesn’t suit your needs or you require a simple way to implement DNS blocking, then you should
    try BlockSite. As for Ossenfort, his deal is up in May, too, and if there’s a way to step up
    to a director-of-player-personnel type of role elsewhere, I
    think he’d look at that.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*