Journalist Jason Zengerle is the 2019 winner of the Newhouse School’s Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. The prize was awarded at a ceremony March 25 in Washington, D.C. NPR’s Lakshmi Singh ’94, an alumna of the Newhouse School,…
Is a T-Shirt Covered by the First Amendment?
Roy Gutterman, an assistant professor of communications at the Newhouse School and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, is available to discuss the issues of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Manksy being argued before the US Supreme Court.
Gutterman, a former journalist, and lawyer who now teaches issues related to the First Amendment says that simply wearing a t-shirt can’t be seen as politicking.
“In the Minnesota case, the extent to which this state law bars a pretty basic form of expressive speech — clothing — raises interesting questions about the extent to which the government can and should control broad aspects of what goes on at polling places,” says Gutterman. “I’m not sure simply wearing a t-shirt with a slogan on it should be considered politicking at a polling place. But lots of speech and conduct can be barred at polling places.”
“The questions within this case could expand to a number of states that have restrictions on clothing voters can wear at polling places,” says Gutterman. “This case adds to the concerns we have about the integrity of voting procedures and polling places.”
Gutterman is available to speak to the press. To arrange an interview, please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of news and PR at Syracuse University, at 315.443.1897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.