Protecting an individual's First Amendment right to protest
Palmer's Honk For Peace Case
The ACLU of Minnesota achieved victory in its case against the City of Burnsville on behalf of its client, Robert Palmer. Palmer was charged with a misdemeanor violation of Minnesota's illegal honking statute in 2009, when he was cited after honking his horn 52 times in support of an anti-war protest at a busy intersection during rush hour in front of Congressman John Kline's office in downtown Burnsville. On May 7, 2010, Dakota County District Court Judge Rex D. Stacey issued an order dismissing the charges against Mr. Palmer as violating a consent decree filed last year in another illegal honking case.
Gilliand's Honk for Peace Case
The City of Burnsville dropped charges against a woman who honked in support of protesters who were holding signs along a public road. The ACLU of Minnesota represented Barbara Gilland, saying that the issuing of the citation violated Ms Gilland's First Amendment rights. The City of Burnsville agreed to drop the charges and to no longer issue citations for improper use of horn when using it to express freedom of speech except when necessary to preserve public safety. The City also agreed to issue a directive to officers and update its policies and procedures to prevent free speech violations in the future.