Shared with permission from Daily Political Newswire
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger temporarily blocked a new Tennessee law which forces businesses to display warning signs if they allow customers to use restrooms that do not match their biological sex.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery argued that blocking the measure was not necessary because the wording of the sign is simply a statement to alert customers who may use the restroom that there could be transgenders, or pedophiles using the cover of transgender rights, in there as well. He told Traugher that she could just apply “common sense” to the claim.
However, Traugher claims she could apply “common sense” to that claim.
“Of course the signs required by the act are statements about the nature of sex and gender and the role of transgender individuals in society,” she said. “Justice is blind, but the court does not have to play dumb.”
A press contact for Slatery, a Republican whose office represents the state defendants, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The ACLU had argued that the required sign would violate the constitutional right to free speech by forcing businesses to communicate government-mandated messages they disagree with. Trauger blasted the state defendants in a footnote for suggesting such a First Amendment claim was invalid because it was based on an “unfounded opinion.”
“Apparently the defendants mean to suggest that the First Amendment protection against compelled speech only recognizes the need to protect points of view that are ‘widely accepted,’” Trauger added. “The version of the First Amendment envisioned by the defendants -- one reserved for ‘widely accepted’ opinions -- is certainly new to this court.”
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