Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the political clothing case. (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)
It doesn’t always happen, but the Supreme Court on Thursday followed the advice of the Los Angeles Times editorial board. By a 7-2 vote, the court struck down a Minnesota law that prohibited the wearing of political clothing at polling places.
The case was brought by Andrew Cilek, a Minnesota man who showed up to vote in 2010 and was asked to remove or cover up a tea party shirt, as well as a button that was deemed too political under state law.
Writing for the court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the state’s ban on political messages at polling sites was too broad. The free-floating nature of the term, combined with “haphazard interpretations the state has provided in official guidance and representations to this court,” caused the law to fail the test of “distinguishing what may come in from what must stay out.”