A man who was repeatedly ticketed for flying flags from his pickup truck that were aimed at President Joe Biden and his voters has won a big cash settlement with a Louisiana resort town.
The flags were deemed vulgar — which led to a number of citations targeting a contractor named Ross Brunet, the Associated Press reported.
Brunet, a construction contractor, routinely worked on the island of Grand Isle, Louisiana.
The island had in place an ordinance that barred displays that the community deemed obscene.
According to NBC News, the flags read, “F*** Biden” and “f*** you for voting for him.”
He was given a total of seven citations.
The Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic filed a lawsuit against the city on behalf of Brunet in federal court.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Brunet argued he was cited out of an attempt by the community to stifle his free speech.
The suit prevailed, and not only will Brunet receive a settlement of $40,000 but Grand Isle has also agreed to rescind the ordinance.
Grand Isle will also pay Brunet’s legal fees.
The Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic announced it was representing Brunet in January in a post on its website.
The free speech legal group wrote, “‘Brunet was engaged in protected speech in flying his flag with political messages’ and that town officials were targeting him because of the content of his speech.”
The case was compared by the legal aid group to a number of landmark free speech cases that had previously been ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1971’s Cohen v. California, the court ruled in favor of a man named Paul Robert Cohen after he was charged with disturbing the peace.
Cohen, an anti-Vietnam War activist, had worn a jacket in a state courthouse that read, “F*** the Draft.”
The Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic wrote of the ruling, “If the Cohen case reflected the tumult of the Vietnam era, Brunet’s case reflects the tumult of the modern partisan divide.”
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