Wednesday, June 13, 2012

KKK Chapter Wants to Adopt-a-Highway. Will Georgia Let Them?

A fascinating legal battle is brewing in Georgia over a mile-long piece of road.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is reviewing the May 21 request filed by International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County and are set to meet with lawyers from the state attorney general’s office today to decide what to do.
The application — which covers a one-mile stretch of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border — has placed Georgia officials in a bind. A lengthy legal battle took place in Missouri after that state sought to ban an effort by the KKK to adopt a road there. Missouri eventually lost, with courts holding that the First Amendment prevented the state from denying an applicant because it disagreed with their viewpoint.
Georgia officials could be forced to choose between approving the application in Union County, denying it and facing a likely legal fight or sidestepping the problem by ending the state’s 23-year-old Adopt-A-Highway program, where participants volunteer to beautify state highways in exchange for road signs advertising their efforts.
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