KKK’s Years-Long Battle To “Adopt” Stretch Of Georgia Highway Headed To Trial

Image courtesy of Todd

Four years after the Ku Klux Klan set off a lengthy legal battle by applying to adopt a stretch of road in northern Georgia near the North Carolina border, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the controversial group’s lawsuit against Georgia can move forward. 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the KKK’s legal bid to participate in Georgia’s “Adopt-A-Highway” program can proceed to trial after unanimously finding that the state’s Department of Transportation failed to follow correct procedures in appealing a lower court’s decision to allow the group to adopt a section of road.

In a summary of the ruling, the court called its decision a “partial victory” for the KKK, which first applied to adopt the one-mile section of a highway in Union Country back in 2012.

The north Georgia KKK group sued the state after it rejected the group’s application to participate in Georgia’s “Adopt-A-Highway” program, which enlists volunteer groups to clean up roadside litter.

At the time, the state said in a letter it was denying the application based on the KKK’s “long-rooted history of civil disturbance” and the “potential for social unrest.”

One of the KKK members who filed the petition said at the time that, “We just want to clean up the doggone road… We’re not going to be out there in robes.”

Following the rejection of the application, the KKK enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which assisted in a similar dispute between the KKK and the state of Missouri, in filing a lawsuit on its behalf.

A judge in the Fulton County Superior Court ruled that the DOT’s rationale for the rejection “represents an unconstitutional infringement” on an applicant’s right of free speech and prohibited the DOT from “denying applications to the [program] from public concern related to a group’s history of civil disturbance.”

The state appealed that decision to the Georgia Supreme Court, which ruled on Tuesday to send the case back to the lower court for trial.

KKK wins partial victory in ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ case [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

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