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The Supreme Court Strikes Down Law that Targeted Gun Owners’ Speech

Charlie T Waite

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Right and proper decision!!

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Good decision.  It still allows laws targeting support for specific candidates or specific ballot measures, but allows general ideas to be expressed.  I think the deciding factor was that the MN law allowed some but not all "political speech."



The State emphasizes that the ban covers only apparel promoting groups whose political positions are sufficiently “well-known.” Tr. of Oral Arg. 37. But that requirement, if anything, only increases the potential for erratic application. Well known by whom? The State tells us the lodestar is the “typical observer” of the item. Brief for Respondents 21. But that measure may turn in significant part on the background knowledge and media consumption of the particular election judge applying it. The State’s “electoral choices” standard, considered together with the nonexclusive examples in the Election Day Policy, poses riddles that even the State’s top lawyers struggle to solve. A shirt declaring “All Lives Matter,” we are told, could be “perceived” as political. Tr. of Oral Arg. 41. How about a shirt bearing the name of the National Rifle Association? Definitely out. Id., at 39–40. That said, a shirt displaying a rainbow flag could be worn “unless there was an issue on the ballot” that “related somehow . . . to gay rights.” Id., at 38 (emphasis added). A shirt simply displaying the text of the Second Amendment? Prohibited. Id., at 40. But a shirt with the text of the First Amendment? “It would be allowed.” Ibid.

The text here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1435_2co3.pdf


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Amazing, isn't it, that there could even be a dissenting opinion.  But then, consider who wrote it.  

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