“When a T-Shirt Gets You in Trouble at the Voting Booth”

Love the kicker on this new Adam Liptak Sidebar column on the Minn. political apparel case:

Similar problems have arisen in the Supreme Court’s backyard. A few years ago, I saw a court police officer order a man wearing a “Guns Save Lives” button on the Supreme Court plaza to remove it.

“No political logos on the plaza,” an officer said.

I asked the officer for his reasoning. “You can’t interview people on the plaza,” he responded.

He was part of a long tradition. A Supreme Court police officer once threatened a woman with arrest for displaying a sign bearing the verbatim text of the First Amendment.

Whether at a polling place or on the Supreme Court plaza, decorum is a worthy goal. But so is the robust debate protected by the First Amendment.


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