A woman from New Jersey was ordered last week by a judge to take down several profanity-laced signs that are critical of President Joe Biden, but she’s refused the order so far despite facing the promise of hefty monetary fines by city officials.
On July 15th, Judge Gary Bundy demanded that Andrea Dick and the homeowner Patricia Dilascio, Dick’s mother, remove three of ten flags that are on display at the property within a week of sentencing, or else face a fine of $250 each day that they fail to comply. The order was issued against Dilascio, even though the signs belong to Dick. The flags in question contain the phrases “Joe Biden Sucks,” “F*** Biden,” and “Socialism Sucks, Biden Blows.”
The women were given a period of 20 days to appeal the ruling, but fines were scheduled to start on Thursday no matter whether they appealed or not. Dick has so far refused to obey the order, despite the heavy penalty.
Last month, complaints began to pile up from others in Dick’s community over the display, with some citing concerns about the display’s close proximity to an elementary school. Judge Bundy insisted in his ruling that the decision was made on the basis of profanity, not politics.
“It is a case… about language,” Bundy said last week when issuing the order. He added that the town could not and would not use laws to “abridge… Ms. Dilascio’s freedom of speech,” but said that First Amendment protected speech “is not… an absolute right.”
A code enforcement officer visited Dick in June, issuing notice of violation of a local code which prohibits “obscene material, communication… or other article.” Before the case’s hearing last week, Dick maintained that the signs were protected under her First Amendment rights and refused to take down the signs.
Judge orders woman to remove 'f**k Biden' flags from outside her home or face daily $250 fines https://t.co/DpJ0QikkYb
— The US Sun (@TheSunUS) July 19, 2021
The Democrat mayor of Roselle Park, Joseph Signorello, has pressed hard to have the pro-Trump signs taken down on the basis of “vulgarity.” He says that “the real problem” is the visibility of the display in front of children, adding that most of the complaints the town received were from upset parents.
However, Michael Campagna, the attorney representing Dilascio is arguing the case on First Amendment grounds and called the town’s ruling an attempt at “censorship.” He says that the case for First Amendment protected free speech is one of the most elementary he can imagine.
Author: Alyssa Sherman