CommunityPam's House Blend

No redneck boyz in the hood – Klan loses appeal to anti-mask law

50/50 percale, or Egyptian cotton, the hoods have gotta go.

I really have no sympathy for these losers. These freaks think it’s “free speech” to HIDE under a sheet when demonstrating? What a bunch of f*cking cowards — what’s the shame in stating your opinions out loud and proud, showing your face to the world in a public demonstration? Apparently the Supreme Court agrees. (Reuters):

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday a free-speech challenge to a New York law banning the wearing of masks at public gatherings by a group claiming ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Without comment, the justices let stand a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that upheld the law as constitutional and rejected the challenge by the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

…In 1999, the American Knights filed a lawsuit arguing that the refusal of New York City police officials to allow it to conduct a rally wearing hooded masks violated its free-speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

…A federal judge in 2002 ruled that the law violated the group’s free-speech rights, but a U.S. appeals court early this year upheld the anti-mask law as constitutional.

Since the robe and the hood alone clearly serve to identify the American Knights with the Klan, we conclude that the mask does not communicate any message that the robe and hood do not,” the appeals court said.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, which has represented the group during the legal battle, appealed to the Supreme Court.

They argued the appeals court was wrong in concluding that the First Amendment right of anonymous speech does not cover a right to conceal one’s appearance at a public demonstration because of fear of retaliation and harassment.

The attorneys said the ruling could have a broad impact, affecting other groups across the political spectrum. For example, “persons of Iranian descent who protested against the shah and who wore masks out of fear of reprisals against family members in Iran would not have been protected,” they said.

New York officials told the high court the city’s compelling interest in law enforcement and public safety outweighed any burdens on the group’s free-speech rights.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding