A woman from Athens, Georgia, wanted to express herself earlier this year. To tell the world her opinions, she did what a lot of people do — she used a bumper sticker. Denise Grier, 47, was given a $100 ticket last March after a DeKalb County police officer spotted the profane, anti-Bush bumper sticker. In this case, her sticker read "I'm Tired of All the BUSH*T."
Even though the courts threw out the ticket in April — the state's "lewd decal" law was declared unconstitutional in 1990 — Grier has now filed a lawsuit in federal court against the county and its officials. Working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, she is not only seeking damages from DeKalb County for emotional distress, but also a declaration in federal court that her bumper sticker is considered constitutionally protected speech. According to the lawsuit, Grier says she is "uncertain and insecure regarding her right to display her bumper sticker in DeKalb County."
It has been noted previously that the Republican-controlled government has been gradually restricting American's right to Freedom of Speech for several years. Even politely telling the Vice President that you disagree with him can lead to the possibility of arrest (yes, he politely disagreed with the Vice President - while the word "reprehensible" is possibly impolite, he didn't yell, or even raise his voice). While expression of free speech can occasionally lead to consequences, it is a dangerous precedent for government officials to be allowed to stifle rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
Grier's bumper sticker ticket is not the first time that law enforcement in Georgia have overreacted to anti-Republican vehicle adornments. As it has been over a decade and a half since Georgia had a "lewd decal" law, it seems odd that the police officer would try to ticket her on that basis.
And this isn't the first time these proto-fascists have tried this kind of thing. There's only one solution. We need to vote them out. If you vote for a single Republican tomorrow, you're just voting for more of the same. More people trying to prevent you from expressing your opinion.
Even the New York Times is breaking with their usual tradition, and refusing to support even a single Republican candidate. And yes, despite what you hear on Fox News, the New York Times is not a "bastion of liberal thinking." They're normally bipartisan. Except for this election.
So vote tomorrow. Think about it, and vote smart. Because there's only one thing we can expect from a government opposed to Freedom of Speech.