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KKK Road Adoption Denied by GDOT, But Will it Stand?

The ACLU of Georgia confirmed it has been approached by the Ku Klux Klan for assistance after the Georgia Department of Transportation denied the KKK's application to adopt a stretch of road in Union County.

The Georgia Department of Transportation late Tuesday denied a request from the

According to a GDOT press release, the department, after consultation with Gov. Nathan Deal, denied the request.

"Maintaining the safety of our roadways is this Department’s foremost mission," the GDOT press release stated. "Encountering signage and members of the KKK along a roadway would create a definite distraction to motorists."

The GDOT also advised the section of roadway listed in the application was ineligible due to the posted limit exceeding 55 mph.

"Further, promoting an organization with a history of inciting civil disturbance and social unrest would present a grave concern to the Department," officials added. "Finally, issuing this permit would have the potential to negatively impact the quality of life, commerce and economic development of Union County and all of Georgia." 

GDOT had a lot of encouragement to deny the application, including a petition drive on Change.org by Nioshii Wilde, an Atlanta-based visual artist and civil rights advocate.

“As a longtime Georgia resident, I do not want my taxpayer dollars spent on a highway that condones hate,” Wilde said in a press release promoting the drive. “The KKK is not a civic-minded organization; it is a domestic terror group."

But it is unlikely GDOT's denial of the application will go unchallenged and that could prove costly for the already financially strapped GDOT.

Chara Fisher Jackson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, told 11Alive that they had received a "request for assistance" in the case, and that they are "going through the process" of investigating. It was reported that although Jackson wouldn't give specifics or whether the ACLU would get involved, she did say it was something they would look at. 11Alive also reports that Alan Begner, a veteran First Amendment attorney, believes the state would lose a legal challenge by the KKK.

According to 11Alive, a legal battle over the same issue in 2005 in Missouri eventually came out on the side of the KKK. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court is reported to have ruled that maintaining membership in the program could not be denied because of the beliefs of the group.

What do you think? Will GDOT's ruling stand or will it have to reverse its decision in the face of a legal challenge?

Grant June 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Had the GDOT simply denied the application based on the speed limit , no problem Instead they engaged in prejudicial treatment and will likely lose an expensive lawsuit ...
Thor Johnson June 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Grant you most likely are correct... I chuckle at the term "prejudicial"... meaning pre-judgment... No judging here, just recognizing what kind of "stuck in another world" folks we are dealing with. We ALL know what the KKK is, don't we...?
LilZ June 14, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I really believe that the ACLU's priorities are messed up. I totally understand the need to protect free speech, but I think the KKK's freedom of speech should be lower on the list. They are nothing but racists and bigots. Let the ACLU fight for people who are truly oppressed, not a group who just wants to distribute a message of hate.
Grant June 14, 2012 at 05:55 PM
LilZ It usually isnt the "happy speech" that requires protection . The same laws that allowed MLK & the Civil Rights folks to speak out for their rights apply to the Klan guys. Just because you may not agree with their opinion doesnt mean they are banned from speaking it . Yeah, I HATE having to side with the Klan in this case but the state HAS engaged in a discriminatory prhibition of freedom and that cannot be allowed to stand. HUGE pile of stupid by the government. Had they simply OK'ed the proposal the Klan would have got virtually no media, no recognition .Nothing but the "honor" of picking up trash on the side of the highway. Now , due to some seriously bad choices by the GDOT and elected officials the KKK will enjoy the media spotlight for months while this case plays out, the state will spend steaming piles of money only to lose a court case to the Klan. Fail

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