VIDEO: Free Speech Case Could Affect Primary Season


Primary season for 2018 is underway, and a case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court could affect state laws about what voters can wear to the polls.

If the court determines that a Minnesota law banning political apparel in polling places on election days is unconstitutional, similar laws in Delaware, Kansas, Montana, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont could also be struck down.

Bloomberg Law’s Melissa Heelan Stanzione attended oral arguments and said the justices were very interested in testing where the line was for permissible apparel under the law.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked whether voters dressing in white to support a political issue was allowed.  Or what about a shirt that said #metoo, he asked.

"How about a shirt that says ‘Parkland Strong’?” Alito asked.

The Supreme Court will likely issue an opinion before the end of June.

Only Texas and Illinois have already held primary elections. Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia are up next on May 8.

The case is Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, No. 16-1435.


Stay on top of the latest Supreme Court cases with the Cases and Controversies podcast.