Caption: Aut Bar owners Martin Contreras and Keith Orr showing the signs they can now display.Aut Bar owners now free to display campaign signs
Credit: ACLU of Michigan
As of Wednesday, bar and restaurant owners in Michigan can now display signs for candidates campaigning for public office. They can thank the owners of the Aut Bar in Ann Arbor, along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), for the decision.
In response to a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the MLCC has decided to stop enforcing a 1954 rule prohibiting election signs from establisments with liquor licenses. The MLCC also agreed to speed up the process of eliminating the rule entirely.For a history of the controversy, click on the link in the headline.
In a press release, ACLU of Michigan legal director Michael J. Steinberg praised the MLCC's decison.
“With the election just two weeks away, we are pleased that the Liquor Control Commission has agreed to stop enforcing an archaic rule that violated the free speech rights of Michigan bar and restaurant owners for more than 50 years. As of today, restaurant, bars and liquor store owners throughout the state are free to display election signs on their own property without fear of being fined or losing their liquor license.”
As for my opinion of this, I think it's a good thing. If nothing else, it will tell me which bars and restaurants I'll frequent during election season and which ones I want to stay away from.