Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Minnesota nice at the polls

This story made me laugh.  Today the Supreme Court heard a case where Minnesota voting officials sought to exclude somebody from voting if they wore political messages on their clothing.  The case stems from a guy who was turned away for wearing a "Don't Tread On Me" T-shirt.  Here's the relevant exchange between Justice Samuel Alito and the lawyer representing the Minnesota elections official:
Justice Alito: How about a shirt with a rainbow flag? Would that be permitted? 
Mr. Rogan: A shirt with a rainbow flag? No, it would be—yes, it would be—it would be permitted unless there was—unless there was an issue on the ballot that—that related somehow to—to gay rights…. 
Justice Alito: Okay. How about an NRA shirt? 
Mr. Rogan: An NRA shirt? Today, in Minnesota, no, it would not, Your Honor. I think that that's a clear indication—and I think what you're getting at, Your Honor— 
Justice Alito: How about a shirt with the text of the Second Amendment? 
Mr. Rogan: Your Honor, I—I—I think that that could be viewed as political, that that—that would be—that would be — 
Justice Alito: How about the First Amendment? 
Heh.  Poor guy.


Anonymous said...

You gotta like a case where Roberts and Breyer indicated support for a state's right to impose such restrictions, while Alito and Kagan are together on the side of Team T-Shirt.

Eric said...

I got the Scalia biography for Christmas and the foreword is written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Apparently, they were the best of friends.

Anonymous said...

There's a buddy road comedy movie in there, I just know it.

Don Surber said...

Title: "The Road to Perdition"

Professor Ryesky said...

It is not unusual for people to wear t-shirts and sweatshirts depicting their college/university.

Suppose there are two people who come into the polling place, each wearing such a sweatshirt? And suppose that one is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, and the other graduated from Cornell University. So far, no problem.

But suppose that one of the candidates on the ballot is named Cornell. Would the two prospective voters be accorded disparate treatment?

The reason I say that it is "not so" hypothetical is that a number of years ago, I entered my local polling place wearing my sweatshirt from La Salle University, where I earned my MBA. And there was a candidate for one of the local judgeships named La Salle.

After I voted, one of the pollwatchers, whom I knew casually as a neighbor around the block, jokingly said to me that she thought that I was campaigning for La Salle. We all had a good laugh.

But suppose that the pollwatcher had no sense of humor!