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The Fuck Biden Signs Can Stay
That's more gracious than I might have been. It was a stupid case, completely devoid of any merit. Glad the ACLU was able to quickly dispense with it.The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) announced today that a state superior court has dismissed obscenity charges against Patricia Dilascio, a resident of Roselle Park, New Jersey, at the request of the town. As Reason reported last week, a Roselle Park municipal court judge had ordered Dilascio to take down three flags from her property that said "fuck Biden," finding that they violated the town's obscenity ordinance. She faced fines of $250 a day for not complying.
Dilascio, represented by the ACLU of New Jersey, appealed the order to take down her anti-Biden flags, and the politically charged small-town kerfuffle in Roselle Park ended up being covered in The New York Times. The reaction was apparently enough that the town filed an application with a state superior court to voluntarily dismiss the charges, which the court granted.
"The continued attention garnered by the inappropriate display and the escalating costs to the taxpayers of continuing to litigate the matter causes far greater harm to the Borough, as a whole, than good," the town said in a statement.
The ACLU of New Jersey applauded the town's decision to drop the fight.
"The First Amendment exists specifically to make sure people can express strong opinions on political issues—or any other matter—without fear of punishment by the government," ACLU-NJ executive director Amol Sinha said in a press release. "Today's decision confirms that our position was correct: Roselle Park had no grounds to issue fines for a political sign and the town's use of its obscenity ordinance infringed upon fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment. It was an uncomplicated case."