ACLU of Alaska Wins Suit Against State of Alaska for Unconstitutional Crackdown on Political Speech

Affiliate: ACLU of Alaska
November 15, 2018 10:45 am

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Anchorage, AK — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska, independent expenditure group Dunleavy for Alaska, and Alaska resident Eric Siebels have won their lawsuit against the State of Alaska over the state’s enforcement of a statute barring political signs near roadways.

Alaska Statute 19.25.105 prohibits “outdoor advertising” on or within 660 feet of state rights-of-way for interstate, primary, and secondary highways within Alaska. This statute effectively prohibited thousands of Alaskans from displaying political speech anywhere on their own property.

The judgment establishes a permanent injunction protecting the rights of all Alaskans to exercise their free speech rights during the election season with temporary political signs outside of state rights-of-way and prohibits the Alaska Department of Transportation from targeting political signs for special enforcement inside of the rights-of-way.

“We are pleased to have reached a result that protects Alaskans’ constitutional rights,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker. “That said, the ACLU of Alaska will remain vigilant in coming elections to ensure the State of Alaska does not violate this order by, as we saw them do this past summer, unconstitutionally targeting political speech.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to preserve and expand the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Alaska, founded in 1971, is one of the 53 state ACLU affiliates that strive to make the Bill of Rights real for everyone and to uphold the promise of the Constitution—because freedom can’t protect itself.

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