In America, we have certain guaranteed freedoms. We have the freedom to speak freely, we have the freedom to remain free from unlawful searches and seizures and despite what the left continually asserts, we have the right to keep and bear arms without justification to the government.
One of the most-important freedoms we have is the First Amendment which protects, among other things, the right to express one’s political beliefs. The First Amendment is a protection from government interference.
One New Jersey man now faces the possibility of jail time for expressing himself politically. A diehard Donald Trump supporter has proudly hung a Trump flag outside his home for months in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits political flags being displayed more than 30 days before an election. New Jersey holds their primary on June 7th, 2016, so it will be several weeks before the man, Joe Hornick, can fly his “Make America Great Again” banner.
Hornick has already been ticketed and in true liberal fashion, his flag has been ripped-down five times. “I have a warehouse on alert, and I’ll put up a flag every time they tear one down,” Hornick says.
Hornick is such a diehard Trump supporter that he claims that if The Donald loses the primary, he intends to never vote again.
The New Jersey man now faces a $2,000 or up to 90 days in jail for violating the ordinance.
According to the ACLU, however, the statute is unconstitutional as it imposes a limitation upon political speech specifically.
Eugene Volokh at the Washington Post agrees:
But that violates the First Amendment; as Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2015)makes clear, sign laws (and other speech restrictions) that discriminate based on the content of signs — such as by distinguishing signs about ballot issues or candidates from signs about other subjects — are generally unconstitutional. The city may impose some content-neutral speech restrictions that apply equally to all signs (though some such signs have to be allowed, see City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994)). But it may not impose content-based restrictions such as this.
Whether one is a Trump fan, a Ted Cruz fan or even a Hillary fan, the fact is that government cannot be allowed to censor this kind of free expression of political ideology.
We are living in a country that is becoming more and more hostile towards legitimate political speech while simultaneously rewarding the lunatics of the radical left by tip-toeing around the Black Lives Matter thugs who espouse racial hatred and commit violence.
Then again, if Mr. Hornick enjoys the First Amendment so much, Donald Trump is an odd choice. Trump has maintained a fickle relationship with the First Amendment and has pledged to “open up” libel laws in America to make it easier to sue media outlets. Already, media outlets can be sued for reporting things that are demonstrably false, so what Trump intends to reform seems unclear and chilling.