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Legal Features

The Rutherford Institute's amicus brief in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Joe Mansky

Challenging a Minnesota law that bans political speech on any “badge, button, shirt, or hat” worn at election polling stations, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and The Individual Rights Foundation have asked the United States Supreme Court to declare that the clothing ban violates the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech.

In an amicus curiae brief filed in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Joe Mansky, The Rutherford Institute and its coalition partners urge the Court to reverse a lower federal court ruling and strike down the Minnesota law, which could be used to prohibit popular buttons or stickers that read, “I Voted,” context-less images such as a marijuana leaf, and even iconic photographs of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., or John Lennon that could be considered “political.” The brief argues the Minnesota law opens the door to abuse of voters’ free speech rights by giving appointed election officials unlimited discretion to determine what political speech should be censored, and is a sweeping prohibition of core First Amendment speech.