Morgan Miller, ACLU of Mississippi, 601-354-3408; 

JACKSON, Miss – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi issued a statement in response to the ruling of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi in Fletcher v. Diamondhead Property Owners Association (POA) that the POA was not a state actor therefore not subject to the federal civil rights provisions under section 1983.

The statement from Charles Irvin, the Legal Director of the ACLU of Mississippi, is as follows: 

“Although we disagree with the Court’s decision, we were here to stand in defense of the ultimate right of citizens to voice free political speech in the form of yard signs or the ability of a property owners association to regulate free speech.

While we are disappointed in the ruling of the court today, we are pleased that the citizens of Diamondhead were able to demonstrate that free speech is paramount. The manner in which one citizen communicates to another is vital to the political process. Prior to this ruling a Temporary Restraining Order was in place which allowed the citizens to place yard signs. As a result, several of the original plaintiffs won positions on the POA board. The process worked.

We will always monitor for infringement upon individual constitutional rights; when we find those infringements we will act. The plaintiffs in Diamondhead stand for that principle of free speech.”

View the Fletcher v. Diamondhead POA ruling.

Learn more about Constitutional Rights.

To help us defend the freedom of speech and expression: Sign up for action alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook