The New Jersey chapter of the very liberal and progressive American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing women being ordered to remove anti-President Biden signage from their home. The two New Jersey suburban women, mother and daughter, were fined for violating a borough ordinance because their political signs included obscenities.
Homeowner Patricia Dilascio and her daughter, Andrea Dick, were ordered by Roselle Park Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy to remove the signs from their yard. Law & Crime reports the signs included the phrases “F**k Biden and F**k you for voting for him” as well as “F**k Biden, not my president.”
The women then faced fines of $250 each day they did not take them down. The local ordinance prohibits “any obscene material, communication or performance or other article or item which is obscene within the Borough.”
The women are now being represented by ACLU attorney Alexander Shalom who will be appealing to the Superior Court in Union County, NJ. ACLU of NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero told NJ Advance Media that “Roselle Park’s ordinance against posing obscene signs should never have been applied to political signs.”
However, Bundy’s ruling declared it was the obscenities, not politics which violated the ordinance. “The ordinance does not restrict political speech, neither this town or its laws may abridge or eliminate Ms. Dilascio’s freedom of speech” wrote Bundy.
“However, freedom of speech is not simply an absolute right. It is clear from state law and statutes that we cannot simply put up the umbrella of the First Amendment and say everything and anything is protected speech” Bundy concluded.
Law & Crime reports the U.S. Supreme Court set a precedent in 1971’s Cohen v. California that favors the ACLU’s position. The court ruled in favor of a man protesting the Vietnam War by wearing a jacket with the words “F*** THE DRAFT. STOP THE WAR.” The court found the government could not regulate an individual’s right to express vulgarity to protect public morality. The court ruled “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.”