Friday, April 15, 2016

NJ Man Faces Possible Jail Time For Flying Political Flags

A New Jersey man who's been flying Donald Trump's campaign flag in front of his home since February could face up to a $2,000 fine or jail time.

Joe Hornick has been flying Trump's "Make America Great Again" flags outside his home and recently received a ticket citing him for illegally posting political signage more than 30 days before an election.

The New Jersey presidential primary isn't until June 7.

Hornick is ready to face a judge in the case. If he loses the flag fight in court. Hornick is prepared to serve a possible 90 day sentence.

"I'm not taking the flag down, and if I do 90 days in jail, I'll do 90 days in jail," he said.

Sometimes the flags come down without Hornick's assistance. Hornick says, the flags have been ripped down five times so far.

"Let them come, let them rip those flags down because I have a warehouse on alert, and I'll put up a flag every time they tear one down," he said.



Anonymous said...

The First Amendment clause on Free Speech was crafted especially to protect political speech, the only reason the law this man is being threatened with still exists is because no one has challenged it.

Anonymous said...

This may lead to a court fight, and I think it should. I'm not a Trump fan, but I think the flags should be considered free political speech. These types of local laws limiting free speech HAVE been struck down in NJ and this one might end up the same.

Bird of Paradise said...

These liberal city councils who stick their big fat noses into the yards of private citizens all need to be recalled then run out of america

Anonymous said...

Governments can enact time, place and manner restrictions on speech. That is especially true when it comes to a compelling interest of the government.

In this case, the town council, like many other town councils, decided to limit the time political advertising can be displayed in their town, presumably hoping to eliminate the way 50 millions signs everywhere looks like. There is also the safety issue of signs in certain locations. It also helps prevent the every present calls to police that someone's signs were stolen, placed improperly, etc.

In this specific case, the guy has the flags on the corner of a busy intersection which the city can say impedes the vision of drivers making turns.

Furthermore, the town restricts signs to a single sign per candidate, (he has multiple), does not allow illumination (he does) and restricts the sign to no more than 6 square feet. His flags are 3' X 5'.

This guy is not being charged because of what the flags say, so the restriction is not content based. (Which would be illegal.)

As it is, the US Supreme Court has ruled that governments may make laws such as this.

Anonymous said...

It's always funny when Bird of Paradise talks about freedom of speech and the says that anyone who thinks differently or has a different idea should be "run out of America."

Like a good liberal, Bird believes in free speech for him, just not for everyone else.

Bird of Paradise said...

Anon 4:10 I'm not a liberal dip-wad your a blabbering little twerp

Anonymous said...

Bird of Paradise,

Anon 4:10 I'm not a liberal dip-wad your a blabbering little twerp

Well, you sure as heck ain't a conservative and your repeated attempts to shut down any speech or ideas that you disagree with puts you squarely in the middle of the liberal camp.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:08,
Time, place, and manner have been struck down if the criteria are unreasonable. Obviously subjective based on who's in power at the time. Reasonable limits to the size of the sign and quantity are ok by me, everyone has to comply. Having 10 4x8 signs on one's front lawn is pushing the limit. :-) The "signs" are at the top of flagpoles, this will certainly not impede anyone's vision at the intersection. I agree that having 2 identical signs when the limit is one does not further one's freedom of speech, it's just "shouting". Courts have ruled both ways on this, there are limits to what one can do on one's property.

Anonymous said...

Flying a political flag during an election campaign - what could be a clearer example of political speech?
As it is at the top of a flagpole and there seems to be no suggestion that it is dangerous or causing any other hindrance I am going to assume that the only reason why there is an objection to it is because it is 'too early'.
Sorry - can't see how that would pass the reasonable restraint on freedom of expression test.

Anonymous said...

Bird of Paradise is a 13 year old illiterate who jerks off in his parents' basement while eating Cheetos. That's why his diseased dick is orange. His mother told me so.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:29
Actually, 2 flags. Is that too much? How about 10? Too early? How about 2 years? Think of your neighbors plastering their property with dozens of signs. See the argument?

Birdzilla said...

N.J. this is the same state that wont allow its citizens to exsorce the 2nd AMENDMENT rights and we have a bunch of long nosed snoops who stick their big fat snouts in peoples private property What these city buricrat's all need is a one way ticket out of america

Anonymous said...

From the strict perspective reading of the constitution any law limiting the size, timing, or number of political signs is not constitutional. A law limiting sign placement due to traffic visibility has no such restriction. If the neighbors believe that they have been damaged by the number or visibility of signs and want to take the owner to civil court that is a tried and true detriment similar to lawsuits over ridiculous color schemes that reduce property values of adjacent properties. Civil lawsuits are a much more effective deterrent than these ridiculous laws trying to limit speech.


Anonymous said...


The problem with you theory is that for the most part, the neighbors would not have standing to sue as it is not their responsibility to insure the safety of intersections, roads, etc. It is up to the local / state / federal government to do that. I would argue that it is up to this home owner to appeal to a code board that his flags do not fall under the intended purpose of the law and that his flags pose no threat to safety, etc.

As I originally said, the local government has the right to make such laws and restrict the time, place and manner of speech. There does have to be objective reasoning behind the restrictions, but for those who say "it's free speech and can't be restricted," they are wrong.

One of the things the Founders knew and that modern people have forgotten is that no "right" is absolute. Madison spoke of the only time when rights are absolute is when you live out in the wilderness never encountering another person. Societies are always going to face compromises of the rights of people when those rights clash.

Spurwing Plover the fighting Shorebird said...

Becuase displaying Trump signs in your yard upsets the 70's era nambdy,pambdies who's favorite symbol is a chicken footprint in a circle

Anonymous said...

Because support of a namby pamby who once sued over a biographer's accurate statements that said namby pamby didn't like shows the intelligence of Trump supporters whose symbol is a head void of a brain..

Anonymous said...

There are always restrictions. Are you suggesting that I can use any language I want in full view of the public as many times as I want with signs as large as I want with no restrictions whatsoever, you know, SHOUTING? Maybe a better idea would be to enlist the cooperation of others within the community to display a reasonable number of signs on private property within the parameters of local laws. You know, like an organized campaign that focuses on getting a broad base of informed voters involved and promoting support? Crazy idea.

Alpha Skua said...

More would be little hitler's or stalin's trying to control peoples lives

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:15 - you have precisely defined the issue.
The question is - at what point doe it become a reasonable restraint.
Whether that is one flag, two flags, ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred.
Likewise whether it is one day before or one year.
And that is why we have Courts.
IMHO I can't see any reason why there should be ANY time limit on flying one flag with a political endorsement that is not otherwise causing a nuisance.