Supreme Court Passes on Bush-Era Bumper-Sticker Battle

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Anti-war and anti-President Bush bumper stickers are seen for sale on a street vendor's table in New York City.

REUTERS/Andrew Winning

When it comes to First-Amendment protections, the framers of the Constitution did not have the foresight to explicitly account for bumper stickers.

For the past five years, Leslie Weise and Alex Young have been fuming. The Christian Science Monitor writes that despite purchasing tickets and keeping the peace, the duo was excluded from a 2005 speech by President George W. Bush in their home state of Colorado. Weise and Young were denied admission by White House officials because their car came decked with this bumper sticker: “No More Blood For Oil.”

It appears that the Bush Administration’s then-policy of ‘no more access for naysayers’ has won out. After a divided ruling from the 10th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court has refused to hear Weise and Young’s case.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves some light for progressives. The Post adds that federal appeals court struck down Weise and Young’s free-speech suit because there was no substantial precedent for the question at hand: can the government eject citizens from a public event solely on grounds that they disagree with the government? Ginsburg viewed that decision as porous, citing a protection already in place which “may not deny a benefit to a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected interest…even to conduct startling in its novelty.”

Next up on the judicial docket: are bumper stickers still a novelty?

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