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ACLU Comes to Defence of New Jersey Woman Fined for ‘F*** Biden’ Signs

© Photo : YouTube / ABC7NYExplitive-laden signs in New Jersey suburb. Screengrab of Eyewitness News ABC7NY report.
Explitive-laden signs in New Jersey suburb. Screengrab of Eyewitness News ABC7NY report. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.07.2021
Earlier this month, the Roselle Park Municipal Court ruled that homeowner Patricia Dilascio and her daughter must remove profanity-laden signs criticizing the president, or face $250-a-day fines until they do so. The suburban women have refused.
The American Civil Liberties Union has come to the defence of Mrs. Patricia Dilascio and her daughter Andrea Dick in their appeal against local authorities over expletive-laden signs on the front lawn of their New Jersey home.
On Monday, local media reported that the women would be represented by Alexander Shalom, an attorney from the ACLU’s New Jersey chapter, after a local judge ordered them to take down the provocative signs on 15 July for the violation of a borough ordinance on cuss words in signage.
The signs in question included the lines “F*** Biden, not my president” and “F*** Biden and f*** you for voting for him.”
Shalom will be appeal the judge’s ruling on Dilascio and Dick’s behalf with the Superior Court in Union County.
In a statement to NJ Advance Media, ACLU New Jersey legal director Jeanne LoCicero emphasized that “all” of the state’s residents “have the right to express themselves freely” under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and that Roselle Park’s ordinance against obscene signs “should never have been applied to political signs” in the first place.
In his ruling, the Roselle Park Municipal Court judge insisted that the fine was not about restricting the women’s political speech, and said that freedom of speech was “not simply an absolute right” under a catch-all interpretation of the First Amendment.
Despite the fine, the pair of women have refused to take the signs down, with Ms. Dick saying they were ready to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.
The highest court in the land has ruled in favour of free speech, including explicit speech, in signage, in the past. A landmark 1971 ruling found that a man protesting the Vietnam War with a slogan on his jacket reading “F*** the Draft, Stop the War” was expressing his free speech.
US President Joe Biden poses for a photo prior to the Russian-American talks at the Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.06.2021
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The ACLU’s decision to represent the women caused surprise among some conservatives, who often accuse the non-profit of having a pro-Democratic Party bias. The group filed over 400 actions against the Trump administration between 2017 and 2020, and repeatedly expressed support for his impeachment. It has not been soft on Joe Biden either, however, announcing a lawsuit against the Democrat’s administration last month over the transfer of detainees by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Before that, the group sent the White House a memo warning that the recent controversial ban on menthol cigarettes would disproportionately impact people of colour.
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