The ACLU of Virginia has advised all of the state’s Congressional representatives and U.S. Senators that it is unconstitutional to ban attendees at town hall meetings from bringing and displaying signs. In a letter sent May 8, ACLU-VA Legal Director Leslie Mehta said that any limitations on free speech imposed at town hall meetings must be “neutral and reasonable in light of the objective purposes served by the forum. Simply put, it is unreasonable to ban all signs. A total sign ban does not appear to effectuate a valid governmental purpose.”
The letter was prompted by numerous complaints the ACLU-VA has received from Virginia residents who have attended town hall events in recent weeks.
U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-D-7th) and state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian) are scheduled to hold a town hall meeting tonight, May 9, and are publicizing that signs will not be allowed.