Mich. bar sues to display campaign signs
Editor’s note: The Associated Press reported that the state Liquor Control Commission decided on Oct. 24 to stop enforcing the 1954 rule and to move quickly to repeal it. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit on behalf of Aut Bar’s owner, praised the liquor board’s decision.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — An Ann Arbor bar that wants to keep U.S. Rep. John Dingell in office is challenging a state rule that prohibits candidate signs in businesses that serve alcohol.
The owner of the Aut Bar says it’s a violation of the First Amendment. A lawsuit was filed Oct. 18 in Detroit federal court against officials at the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
The bar wants to post signs for the Democratic congressman from Dearborn and for Washtenaw County judicial candidate Carol Kuhnke.
State rules let bars post signs on other issues, such as war, health care, abortion or even some of the six questions on Michigan’s fall ballot. But candidate signs are prohibited.
The rule goes back decades. Liquor commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller says the rationale for it is unclear.