The Latest: Voter: Vindicated by high court on clothing law
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a Minnesota law restricting what voters can wear to polls (all times local):
A Minnesota voter who challenged a law restricting what could be worn to a polling place welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that agreed with him.
The high court struck down the law on Thursday, saying it violated the First Amendment. Most states have laws restricting what voters can wear to cast their ballots, but Minnesota’s law is one of the broadest.
Andy Cilek was blocked from voting in 2010 while wearing a “Tea Party Patriots” shirt. He says the case isn’t really about T-shirts or buttons, but rather “political exploitation of a statute that was overly broad.”
Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon says he’ll make sure election judges know about the court’s decision. However, Simon says his read of the ruling is that it’s OK to continue banning clothing that advocates for specific candidates.
The Supreme Court has struck down a Minnesota law that restricted what voters can wear to polls.
The justices ruled Thursday that the law violates the First Amendment. Still, the justices’ 7-2 ruling suggested that some restrictions on what people can wear to vote are permissible.
Most states have laws restricting what voters can wear to cast their ballots, but Minnesota’s law is one of the broadest. It bars voters from casting a ballot wearing clothing with the name of a candidate or political party or related to an issue on the ballot. Minnesota voters also can’t wear clothing promoting a group with recognizable political views.
The state had defended its law as a reasonable restriction that keeps order at polling places and prevents voter intimidation.