New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Rule Banning Handing Out Board Campaign Materials Unconstitutional
In another free speech case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that rule banning handing out campaign materials in a cooperative violated the state's constitutional guarantee of free speech. This case follows a pattern of cases applying private action on private property to be subject to constitutional protection. The New Jersey Supreme Court applied a cohesive analysis and considered who was seeking to speak, the purpose of the speech, and where it was being prohibited. The Court addressed the "important right of residents to speak about the governance of their community" in light of the board's concerns. Importantly, the Court also described how the board had an exception to the rule for its materials, and utilized that exception to criticize opponents and tout the board's accomplishments. One wonders if the case would have been decided differently if the Board had rule against handouts that applied to everyone.
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