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Ku Klux Klan Can Pass Out Handbills in Missouri, Court Rules in Free-Speech Case

KKK wants you.jpg
via
In a victory for First Amendment supporters -- and white supremacists -- a federal judge ruled yesterday that a St. Francois County city cannot prohibit the Ku Klux Klan from distributing leaflets on city streets.

The decision isn't all that surprising. The courts have ruled in favor of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK in past Missouri disputes around the group's flyering campaigns. And the decision in this American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri lawsuit relates to an ordinance in the city of Desloge that could have also potentially impacted scouts, Little League baseball teams and firefighters.

What's the judge's reasoning? Continue for details on the decision -- and our collection of some of the KKK Missouri fliers this decision protects.

See also:
- KKK Fliers Found on MLK Day -- Or Is it Robert E. Lee Day?
- Black Man Admits Sending Threatening Letters from KKK
- KKK-Recruiting Union Official Booted from Federally-Funded Job Site

"Broad ordinances restricting speech allow government officials to call for enforcement only when they disagree with a particular message," Tony Rothert, the ACLU-EM's legal director, says in a statement. "In the United States, the government cannot pick and choose what should or should not be communicated. Any attempt to silence unpopular voices through legislation is an attack on the free speech rights we are all guaranteed by the First Amendment."

The decision from U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig makes a preliminary injunction from December permanent -- meaning the city of Desloge cannot enforce the ordinance in question. The suit brought forth by the ACLU in November on behalf of Frank
Ancona and members of the KKK targeted a city policy that restricted solicitation.

The ACLU says that after the city defended its broad restriction on the distribution of handbills, the KKK decided to challenge the rule on free-speech grounds.

And, it seems, it was successful. The short decision, full statement on view below, says that the city is barred from enforcing or threatening to enforce the rule, citing the Constitution.

The KKK had planned on distributing leaflets in Desloge until the group learned that this would be a violation, the ACLU says.

So what kinds of fliers does this decision permit?

For your reading pleasure/horror this morning, we've reassembled here some of the top alarmist KKK fliers of Missouri that we collected back in October, when there was a ruling in a similar case in Cape Girardeau. Viewer discretion is advised!

Mexican Warfare

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Continue for more KKK fliers.



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34 comments
ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

While Irish Atheists were excluded from participating in the KC St. Paddy's parade.... It's a mixed up crazy world we live in full of willful ignorance. I'm all for free speech, but interesting which specific groups are targeted for silence... Racism = ok. Secular = bad.

James Madison
James Madison

The NAACP did not start as a hate group. They evolved into one.

Kelly Kaufmann
Kelly Kaufmann

Equal opportunity freedom of speech. If Pamela Geller can spread Islamaphobia hate on public transit ads, the KKK can spread their hate too.

Robert Schwent Jr
Robert Schwent Jr

The NAACP and the Klan are way different. For example, no US President has ever been a member of the NAACP. AMERICA!

Danielle Correll
Danielle Correll

They have been trying to rid the world of these hate groups but with no luck. Unfortunately they have the right to post their hate everywhere. It is awful and pathetic and honestly no one would miss them if they dropped dead. Sorry. Keep posting love and peaceful messages and maybe someday we can make a huge difference by removing these cults of hate.

Stacia Hand
Stacia Hand

I had better not catch them trying to dump that filth on my lawn again or I may just feed their fliers to them.

Marisela Rivas
Marisela Rivas

No way!!! They were supposed to be shutdown a long time ago. They are murderers. I knew they'd be rearing their ugly head. Ever since 9/11 this country has been slowly regressing back to ignorant ways of thinking. Racism is more blatant than I've seen in my lifetime. They have been waiting patiently for the right time. Don't let them Missouri. Hate groups should not be protected under the law.

Richard Kyles
Richard Kyles

lol I think he confused NAACP with the Black Panthers.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

they can hand me a flyer if I can in turn kick them in the groin.

Chris Bergh
Chris Bergh

Yeah, it's their right. Doesn't mean we aren't completely justified to feel sickened and repelled by their ideology... All you can do is use your own freedom of speech to spread words of love and compassion instead of hate and bigotry. Oh and to the gentleman that said the KKK and the NAACP were equivalent? Not in a million years man, sorry that you feel that way... The NAACP is not a hate group and it's disturbing that you would think so. I don't know you so I won't assume that you are a racist, but you are certainly giving the impression that it could be true. One of those organizations was formed for the specific purpose of using terror, violence, and murder to suppress the freedoms of not just black people, but also Jews, Catholics, and immigrants. Please don't compare an organization like that which murdered thousands of black men and women to the one founded by Mr. W.E.B DuBois and Booker T. Washington with the purpose of uplifting a group of people and restoring the dignity stolen from them. Hope you learn the error of your ways and let go of some of that suspicion and fear. Peace!

Holly Indence
Holly Indence

unpopular speech should not be censored. you want to combat their hate? Then spread your positive message. no one is stopping you.

Michael Toecker
Michael Toecker

1st Amendment. You also have the right (I would say obligation) to counter their speech with your own.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Free speech is protected, even unpopular speech, even burning the flag.

Stephanie Hults
Stephanie Hults

I don't think they should be able to because they are spreading hate messages, but freedom of speech gives them that right. The same reason Westboro hasn't been shut down. Like others have said...we have the right to not listen or accept any message/flyer we don't want. Hate is sad no matter where it comes from.

Andrew Bohler
Andrew Bohler

I have the right to kick em in the sac as well

Elayne Blue
Elayne Blue

it is the price we pay for free speech.

Bob Pivoroff
Bob Pivoroff

Sad that the KKK exists in this day and age. Inbred redneck jackasses.

Drago N Hide
Drago N Hide

Yes. and I reserve the right to use it to wipe my ass with.

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

if the NAACP can, then so can the KKK. fair is fair. period. they BOTH NEED TO ROTT IN HELL.

James Madison
James Madison

Why is there even a debate? Are some people still unaware of the their freedom to speech and press? Every city councilperson should have to pay the court costs and legal fees out of their own pocket - these elected representatives swore to uphold the Constitution. Pay up or resign - you are unfit for your office. We do not have to support the KKK to know that we do not want cities, counties, states, or even the Federal gov't to tell us what we can say or print.

Preston Shults
Preston Shults

Everybody's like: "hurrr the KKK can,,, freedumb of speach. The Westboro Baptist Church?!?! No whay! We have to stopz them! support our troops!!!!!!1"

Antonio Baker
Antonio Baker

thats bullshit,they wouldnt dare try that shit with me

Danielle Correll
Danielle Correll

Unfortunately yes bcuz of free speech...but then we have the right to take a match to that flyer also...right in front of their stupid faces.

Jason Bryson
Jason Bryson

I absolutely agree, they can hand out whatever material they wish.

Julie Brown
Julie Brown

If religious organizations can knock on your door and hand you flyers, then it should be okay for others to do it, too. Remember, that YOU also have a right not to take any information that you don't want!

Nancy O'Dowd Nerone
Nancy O'Dowd Nerone

I hate what the KKK stands for, but they have every right to hand out their stupid fliers.

Jim Swift
Jim Swift

Just as the RFT has the right to publish sex ads.

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