In my previous blog I explained the constitutional issue presented by a Trump supporter who faced a fine or jail time for flying his Trump flag, purportedly in violation of municipal law. Since my previous post, the American Civil Liberties Union joined the fight in defense of the Trump supporter. Following a court hearing on May 18th, the municipal court judge found that the ordinance was vague. According to the Associated Press, Judge Louis Garippo Jr. dismissed the case in the interest of justice.
As expected, the municipal court dismissed the case without reaching the constitutional issues. And while Judge Garippo did the right thing by disposing of the case without the need for a more in-depth constitutional analysis, he left open the issue of whether such municipal restrictions on political speech are enforceable. Another interesting facet of this case is that, according to an OPRA request provided to the Coco Law Firm, Hornick was the only resident ticketed under the political sign ordinance in the past five years. This fact could have led to a selective enforcement defense.
It looks like we will need to wait until the next case to resolve some of these more fundamental liberty issues.