Press Release: Federal District Court Rules in Favor of the ACLU of Georgia for First Amendment Violations Against Citizens Protesting the Proposed Abortion Ban
ATLANTA – This afternoon, the ACLU of Georgia won a federal court ruling lifting the Capitol Police’s unconstitutional ban on buttons that express opposition to the abortion ban bill. The ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the State Capitol Police for ordering two citizens to remove buttons expressing opposition to HB 481, the proposed abortion ban, in violation of their First Amendment right to wear expressive clothing.
The buttons read “Don’t Fuck With Us, Don’t Fuck Without Us,” followed by a logo of a prominent reproductive healthcare provider. The message tells lawmakers to refrain from interfering with women’s healthcare decisions and to remind everyone to practice responsible sex.
The lawsuit asked the court for immediate relief to allow protesters to wear these buttons to the scheduled hearing on HB 481, which was being held on this afternoon, Thursday, March 14, 2019, as well as injunction to prohibit any further restrictions on this button.
In his order, Federal District Judge Steve C. Jones wrote, “Defendants and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and persons acting in concert of participation with them are immediately enjoined from banning buttons that state, ‘Don’t Fuck With Us[,] Don’t Fuck Without Us,’ on the publicly accessible areas of Capitol Square property.”
“Today’s ruling recognizes that the State Capitol Building is a seat of democracy and no government official can prevent people from speaking their mind,” stated Sean J. Young, Legal Director of the ACLU of Georgia.