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R.I. town sued over anonymous political literature ban


PROVIDENCE (AP) — The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the town of Smithfield to keep it from enforcing a ban on anonymous political literature.

The lawsuit filed today says the town has said it will enforce the law, despite a 1995 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a similar law in Ohio and upheld the right to anonymous free speech.

The police department did not return a message seeking comment, and the attorney general’s office, also named in the lawsuit, did not comment.

Smithfield police last year charged a political consultant with distributing anonymous campaign materials. The attorney general’s office dismissed the charges because of constitutional concerns, but the ACLU says the police chief and town solicitor said they would still enforce the ban.



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