The Ku Klux Klan wants to “adopt” a stretch of highway in North Georgia to clean up litter.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is deciding whether to grant the controversial group’s application amid concerns about freedom of speech.
The International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County wants to adopt a one-mile stretch of Route 515 near the North Carolina border.
A legal battle took place over the same issue in Missouri in YEAR when the state tried to ban the KKK from adopting a road there. Missouri lost the fight—with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the First Amendment prevented the state from denying an applicant just because it disagreed with its public positions.
The American Civil Liberties Union assisted with the Missouri lawsuit. Debbie Seagraves, with the ACLU of Georgia, says that precedent-setting case will be the biggest factor in the DOT’s decision:
“To start making decisions about denying people access to the program, based on what they say they stand for would be a first amendment violation. The court has found this already in Missouri.”
The KKK would not grant requests for an interview.