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The New Jersey borough that went to court over a local woman's flags criticizing President Joe Biden dropped its case on Tuesday after the American Civil Liberties Union opted to represent the resident and her mother, who were facing daily fines of $250 for refusing to take down the display.
A superior court judge accepted a request from the borough's legal team on Tuesday to dismiss the charges against the resident, Andrea Dick, after a municipal court judge ruled on July 15 the woman violated a local obscenity ordinance with the display that included the phrases "F*** Biden," "Joe Biden Sucks," "Socialism Sucks, Biden Blows," and "Don't Blame Me I Voted For Trump," among others.
"It was an uncomplicated case," said Amol Sinha, executive director for the ACLU of New Jersey. "The First Amendment exists specifically to make sure people can express strong opinions on political issues, or any other matter, without fear of punishment by the government."
Dick posted the anti-Biden flags on the property owned by her mother, Patricia Dilascio.
"We both feel so relieved," Dick said, referring to her mother. "I’m just happy this is all over," she told NJ.com.
Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy wrote in his ruling earlier this month the case was not about politics but rather the obscene language on some of the signage displayed.
Mayor Joseph Signorello of Roselle Park, where Dilascio and Dick live, said the overarching concern was that the signs were visible to children and that several complaints were filed over the signage.
Signorello said Saturday the legal battle would likely not continue due to costs.
"At the end of the day, you can’t legislate decency," Signorello said in a CNN interview. "Cost is definitely a factor here, and that can’t be denied."
Roselle Park told the residents they would be subject to daily $250 fines if the flags were not removed within a week of the initial warning to remove them.
On Tuesday, the flags remained outside Dilascio's residence. Dick said she eventually plans to file a lawsuit of her own.
"Today’s decision confirms that our position was correct: Roselle Park had no grounds to issue fines for a political sign and the town’s use of its obscenity ordinance infringed upon fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment," Sinha added in her statement.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese