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Supreme Court will hear case on Minnesota's ban on political apparel near polling places

U.S. Supreme Court building
REUTERS/Gary Cameron
U.S. Supreme Court building

Voting might be about to get a lot more obnoxious. The Associated Press reports (via the Star Tribune): “The Supreme Court has agreed to determine whether a Minnesota statute that prohibits wearing political apparel in polling places is unconstitutional. … The Supreme Court said Monday it will take a case challenging the law. Several groups sued just before the 2010 election to try to ensure officials would not bar them from wearing tea party apparel to the polls, including buttons that read, ‘Please I.D. Me.’ They referred to legislation that would have required voters to show identification at the polls.”

Looks bad. The Minnesota Daily’s Cleo Krejci reports: “Investigations of a University-area apartment show developers of the building repeatedly broke deadlines and forced students to keep leases for apartments that shouldn't have been approved to take in any residents at all. … A report from a private inspection conducted Nov. 1 at the Prime Place Apartments building in Prospect Park found construction and fire code violations throughout the complex. About a month earlier on Oct. 2, the City of Minneapolis granted a temporary certificate of occupancy — finding the building complied with state and city building codes — which allowed residents to move into its completed portions.”

New Minneapolis council member interviewed. Splinter’s Rafi Schwartz talked to the recently elected Andrea Jenkins: “Typically, municipal elections in mid-sized American cities don’t make the national news. But when Andrea Jenkins won her race for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council on November 7, she became the first openly transgender woman of color ever elected to public office in the United States. Jenkins, an artist and longtime political fixture in Minneapolis who previously worked for two city council members, in many ways reflects the community she now officially serves: liberal, artistic, and committed to raising up her neighbors.”

Pretty good description, from an environmentalist perspective, of the Enbridge pipeline dispute. Eather’s Yessenia Funes writes: “The sun was still hiding Wednesday morning, November 8, when about 15 individuals woke up to leave Camp Makwa on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. The time was 3 a.m., and this time of year, temperatures can drop real low, like 20 degrees Fahrenheit. … … That didn’t stop this group, though. They were on a mission to temporarily halt construction on the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Program, a new effort to boost the capacity of a pipeline carrying oil over a thousand miles from Alberta to Wisconsin. And, well, they succeeded, even if construction was just halted momentarily.”

In other news…

Aww: “Surprise! Mendota Heights police throw birthday party for 3-year-old boy” [Star Tribune]

Are gophers next?? “Wisconsin governor signs woodchuck hunting bill” [MPR]

Wow: “'Your kidney will help Sara': After reading about Duluth woman’s plight, ND woman makes a sacrifice” [West Central Tribune]

Come for the tribute and rememberance, stay for the sick burn on Minneapolis music writers circa 1999: “Chad Hanks — co-founder of Minneapolis nu-metal band American Head Charge — dies at 46” [City Pages]

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Comments (2)

Political Apparel

I understand the justification for barring campaigning at or near a polling place. The justification for banning "apparel" seems a little less clear.

If you haven't made up your mind by the time you get to the polling place, I doubt you're going to be swayed by someone wearing a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt.

Political Apparel

I think it can also be viewed as a form of intimidation.