Lawyer: 'It Has Very Serious First Amendment Implications'

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, claiming state police banned visitors from wearing political buttons and pins into the State House.

Hackensack attorney Janie Byalik said the issue was brought to her by a group of visitors who were in Trenton for an environmental issue.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

“Prior to entering the State House, were asked to remove their politically expressive pins, buttons and stickers by the state police,” Byalik told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “It has very serious first amendment implications.”

Byalik said when the group made a formal request for the specific policy stating that they could not wear political buttons, they were denied.

“The state police and other agencies are now withholding all sorts of documents that are not confidential, that should be viewed by the public,” Byalik told Haskell.

A spokesman for the New Jersey State Police said the incident was a misunderstanding and that there is no policy against wearing political buttons or stickers in the State House.

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