ACLU of Georgia Files Lawsuit Against State Capitol Police for First Amendment Violations Against Citizens Protesting the Proposed Abortion Ban

Affiliate: ACLU of Georgia
March 13, 2019 9:15 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Georgia
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ATLANTA – The ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the State Capitol Police for ordering two citizens to remove buttons expressing opposition to HB 481, the proposed abortion ban, in violation of their First Amendment right to wear expressive clothing. The buttons read “Don’t Fuck With Us, Don’t Fuck Without Us,” followed by a logo of a prominent reproductive healthcare provider. The message tells lawmakers to refrain from interfering with women’s healthcare decisions and to remind everyone to practice responsible sex.

The lawsuit asks the court for immediate relief to allow protesters to wear these buttons to the next scheduled hearing on HB 481, which is on Thursday, March 14, 2019, as well as injunction to prohibit any further restrictions on this button.

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an individual had the First Amendment right to wear a jacket stating “Fuck the Draft” in a public courthouse, even if the language might be offensive to others.

“The First Amendment protects every constituent’s right to wear clothing expressing their opinions to their elected officials,” stated Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia. “This right is particularly important in the halls of the State Capitol Building which is the seat of democracy in Georgia.”

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