Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments Today on What You Can Wear When You Vote


The U.S. Supreme Court will become the fashion police today, as the justices will hear arguments on what types of clothing you should be allowed to wear to the polls, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Texas, like a number of states, bans voters from wearing clothing containing 'political messages' to the polls, but a free speech group says that is an unconstitutional restriction on freedom of expression.

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacquie Callanan says local poll workers have the authority to tell people to turn their shirts inside out to 'reduce voter intimidation.'

"Other poll workers have gotten very creative," she said.  "They have given voters (with questionable shirts) the same ballot and a roll of tape, and told them to go out, tape this to your shirt, and then come in and vote."

But free speech groups say the right to vote and the right to be able to express one's opinion are both included in the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted by local laws.

Callanan says it is not unusual in Bexar County for poll workers to have to become the fashion police.

"When you get the robust, animated campaign workers, it happens all the time," she said.

Callanan says the Justices will have a tough job as politics becomes more invasive in our society. 

For example, what is called the Gadsden Flag,' the snake with the 'Don't Tread on Me' logo, is part of Americana and is found on plates, clothing, and other personal items.But the Gadsden Flag is also a symbol used by the Tea Party, so the Justices will have to decide how far she and her poll workers can go to restrict the clothing voters can wear when they vote.

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