Supreme Court strikes down Minnesota's voter clothing law

Latest News

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Minnesota law that barred voters in the state from wearing a wide range of political hats, T-shirts and pins to the polls.

Minnesota had defended its law as a reasonable restriction that keeps order at polling places and prevents voter intimidation. But the justices ruled 7-2 that the state's law is too broad, violating the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that "if a State wishes to set its polling places apart as areas free of partisan discord, it must employ a more discernible approach than the one Minnesota has offered here."

Most states have laws restricting what voters can wear when they cast ballots, but Minnesota's law was one of the broadest. It barred voters from casting a ballot while wearing clothing with the name of a candidate or political party. Also not allowed: clothing that references an issue on the ballot or promotes a group with recognizable political views. A National Rifle Association T-shirt or shirt with the text of the Second Amendment wouldn't be allowed, for example, according to the lawyer who argued the case for the state.

Roberts noted that Minnesota, like other states, had sought to balance a voter's ability to "engage in political discourse" with the ability to "exercise his civic duty in a setting removed from the clamor and din of electioneering."

"While that choice is generally worthy of our respect, Minnesota has not supported its good intentions with a law capable of reasoned application," he wrote.

It is unclear exactly how many states the ruling could affect beyond Minnesota. Both Minnesota and the group challenging the state's law had said there are about 10 states with laws like Minnesota's, though they disagreed significantly on which ones, agreeing only on Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Vermont.

The case before the Supreme Court dates back to 2010 and involves a dispute that began over tea party T-shirts and buttons with the words "Please I.D. Me," a reference to legislation then under discussion in Minnesota that would have required residents to show photo identification to vote. The legislation ultimately didn't become law.

Pointing to the state's statute, Minnesota officials said before the election that neither the tea party T-shirts nor those buttons would be permitted at the polls. In response, a group of voters and organizations sued.

Related listings

  • Court records: Illinois father led police to son's body

    Court records: Illinois father led police to son's body

    Latest News 05/07/2019

    Court records show that video police recovered from an Illinois woman's cellphone showing her bruised 5-year-old son prompted the boy's father to lead investigators to the child's body.JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake are charge...

  • US revokes visa for International Court prosecutor Bensouda

    US revokes visa for International Court prosecutor Bensouda

    Latest News 04/03/2019

    The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Friday that her U.S. visa has been revoked, in what appears to a crackdown on the global tribunal by the Trump administration.In a statement confirming the revocation, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda&...

  • Court upholds car rental tax imposed in Maricopa County

    Court upholds car rental tax imposed in Maricopa County

    Latest News 02/22/2019

    The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday upheld a car rental tax surcharge that’s imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a professional football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities, marking the second time an appeals court h...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.