UNION COUNTY, NJ – A New Jersey woman and fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump who had run afoul of her local town after adorning her fence with F-bomb laden anti-President Joe Biden flags had her case dismissed in Superior Court on Tuesday on First Amendment grounds after the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in.
Andrea Dick of Roselle Park, 54, received complaints from her neighbors when she put up multiple, obscenity-laden signs that are highly critical of President Biden, including “F**K Biden,” “F**k Biden and F**k you for voting for him,” and one depicting former President Trump sticking up his middle fingers.
Dick, who lives at the residence with her mother, Patricia Dilascio, was eventually cited and fined by local officials, who claimed that her signs were in violation of local anti-obscenity ordinances. However, insisted in keeping the offending signs up, prompting Roselle Park Municipal Court Judge Gary A. Bundy to order Dilascio – the owner of the house – to remove the signs or face a $250-a-day fine.
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey stepped in to represent Dilascio and Dick when they appealed their case to the Superior Court in Union County, at which time Superior Court Judge John Deitch accepted Roselle Park Borough Attorney Jarrid Kantor’s application to dismiss the charges.
Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey, issued a statement after the dismissal, saying that the case was a huge win for protecting the First Amendment right to free speech that all New Jersey residents enjoy, calling it “an uncomplicated case.”
“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,” said Sinha. “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.”
After the decision, Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello stated that the town may look into revising their anti-obscenity ordinance, saying “at the end of the day, you can’t legislate decency.”
Signorello had also stated in a previous interview that the cost of continuing to prosecute the case was potentially prohibitive as well.