ACLU of Florida Speaks Out Against Free Speech Violation, Threatens Litigation

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
August 30, 2007 12:00 am

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ORLANDO – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida sent a letter today on behalf of Bryan J. and Leilani J. Orr, whose constitutionally protected free speech right to display political signs in their front yard was recently suppressed by the City of Clermont, FL, located in Lake County. Code Enforcement Officer Betty McMinamen demanded that the Orrs remove the sign from their yard in an August 23 letter citing a City code requiring a $50.00 deposit in order to display a political sign.

The ACLU’s letter to the City outlines the unconstitutionality of applying the City’s codes to categorically suppress free speech based on content. The letter goes on to threaten legal action against the City should it not agree to comply with federal court precedents.

“The government cannot charge a fee for expressing your political opinion by putting a sign in your yard,” said Glenn Katon, ACLU Regional Director in Central Florida. “The law is clear that the City of Clermont cannot make political speech more burdensome than other speech and if the code inspector continues to threaten the Orrs with a citation for supposedly violating an unconstitutional ordinance, we will challenge the city in federal court.”

The full text of the letter follows, or can be viewed in PDF here:

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