In a case that made it all of the way to the desk of Rush Limbaugh, the Andover Tea Party in Ashtabula County has prevailed in its efforts to hold a Constitution Day rally on Andover Public Square. Previously, township officials had informed the residents that a rally in support of the Constitution was too political for the public square.
On September 16, U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent granted the 1851 Center a temporary injunction against Andover Township. The ruling cleared the way for the rally, and upheld the residents’ First Amendment rights. If the judge sided with Andover Township, local governments across the state would be emboldened to trample on First Amendment rights.
The Framers of the Constitution ratified the First Amendment to protect the right to debate the proper role of government without fear of retaliation.
The case in Andover demonstrates how the political class overlooks such basic constitutional rights. But it also demonstrates the need for Ohioans to vigilantly police their local governments, and when necessary, stand up to them. Courage is usually the first step in protecting one’s rights, and our clients in Andover should be applauded for theirs. We encourage other Ohioans to follow suit.
To learn more about the 1851 Center, visit http://www.ohioconstitution.org