Three months after Georgia rejected the Ku Klux Klan’s application to participate in the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the hooded bigots, claiming Georgia’s decision violates the KKK’s right to free speech.
Perfectly named Klansman Harley Hanson originally filed the application in June, but Georgia’s Department of Transit refused it, saying the program was available only to “civic-minded organization in good standing.” It’s unclear if Hanson, who refers to himself as the “exalted cyclops” of the Georgia Realm of the International Keystone Knights, contacted the ACLU or vice versa.
Either way, the civil liberties groups believe they have a case. From the court documents:
Defendants have refused to issue an Adopt-A-Highway permit to Plaintiffs, based upon Defendants’ perception of the content of Plantiffs’ speech, in violation of Georgia Constitution…
Defendants have set up criteria for qualification for the Adopt-A-Highway program that are unconstitutionally vague and…have established no process for appeal of denial to an application.
Legal precedent is on the exalted cyclops side; in a similar case in 2005, a federal court ruled that Missouri couldn’t ban the KKK from a similar Adopt-A-Highway program near St. Louis.