Supreme Court agrees to review law banning political apparel at polling places
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a Minnesota law that bans political badges and other political insignia at polling places.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court has permitted campaign-free zones at polling places, it has never endorsed a ban on all political speech, the Minnesota Voters Alliance asserts in its cert petition (PDF).
The Minnesota law defines banned apparel as material promoting a group with recognizable political views.
The executive director of the alliance, Andrew Cilek, was temporarily barred from voting because he was wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt with a small tea party logo and because he was wearing a button reading “Please ID Me.” The button was a reference to a campaign for a photo ID law, and it included the website and phone number of a group called Election Integrity Watch.
The St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had affirmed dismissal of the challenge in a February opinion (PDF). The court said states have a legitimate interest in upholding “peace, order and decorum” at polling places. and the law is viewpoint-neutral.
The SCOTUSblog case page is here. The case is Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky.