Apr 3, 2017 10:48 AM
US Supreme Court nixes NH's effort to revive Ballot Selfie ban
The Supreme Court shot down New Hampshire’s efforts to keep voters from taking ballot selfies.
In a series of orders released Monday morning, the high court denied the state’s bid to revive a 2014 law that banned such images. Last September, the Boston based Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that New Hampshire’s law was too broad and infringed on First Amendment activity.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear New Hampshire’s appeal doesn’t set national precedent on the issue, but the 1st Circuit’s ruling is binding in the Granite State, as well as Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire challenged the state’s law, which prohibited a voter from taking a photo of their ballot and then post it on social media to show how they voted.
"The First Circuit correctly recognized that political speech is essential to a functioning democracy," ACLU-NH legal director Gilles Bissonnette said in a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.
"The First Amendment does not allow the state to, as it was doing here, broadly ban innocent political speech with the hope that such a sweeping ban will address underlying criminal conduct."