Monday began a high profile battle in the Georgia Supreme Court in which the KKK is claiming that it has a right to “Adopt-A-Highway.”
The hate group, with the American Civil Liberties Union, is claiming that the issue is one of free speech.
“The government cannot be a censor of free speech,” Alan Berger, an attorney for the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said.
However, the Georgia Department of Transportation has been saying since 2012 that the KKK’s “long rooted history of civil disturbance” would “cause a significant public concern.”
“The state denied the application, not because of safety hazard or some other compelling government interest, but because the state disagrees with what the KKK represents,” Maya Dillard Smith, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, told FoxNews.com. “It is precisely this kind of government action the Constitution prohibits.”
Smith went on to say that she understands people might have a “visceral reaction” to the case, but she believes it will set a dangerous precedent.
“What may seem as chipping away only at the KKK’s free speech right, will, in fact, open Pandora’s box and create legal precedent that justifies curtailing the free speech rights of religious evangelicals, abortion protestors and even Black Lives Matter supporters and opponents,” she said.
The case is not expected to be decided for a few months, and in the meantime, applications to “Adopt-A-Highway” have been suspended while the case is being decided.