Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Can the government ban the text of the First Amendment itself on municipal transit ads because free speech is too "political" for public display?
If this sounds like some ridiculous brain teaser, it should. But unfortunately it's not. It's a core claim in a lawsuit we filed today challenging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) restrictions on controversial advertising.
The ACLU, ACLU of D.C., and ACLU of Virginia are teaming up to represent a diverse group of plaintiffs whose ads were all branded as too hot for transit: the ACLU itself; Carafem, a health care network that specializes in getting women access to birth control and medication abortion; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); and Milo Worldwide LLC -- the corporate entity of provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
To put it mildly, these plaintiffs have nothing in common politically. But together, they powerfully illustrate the indivisibility of the First Amendment. Our free speech rights rise and fall together -- whether left, right, pro-choice, anti-choice, vegan, carnivore, or none of the above.
Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.