MAGA prevails, 9th Circuit rules that teacher’s red hat is protected by First Amendment

by Summer Lane

Photo: Alamy

President Donald Trump’s MAGA movement has prevailed yet again in a new court ruling establishing his famous red baseball cap as being protected by the First Amendment.

According to a report from Reuters, the 9th Circuit ruled last week that there was no evidence that Washington Evergreen middle school teacher Eric Dodge caused disruptions to teacher trainings by wearing his red MAGA hat.

In the ruling, the court affirmed in part that the hat had caused offense, but it had not caused disruption. Per Reuters, the school’s principal, Caroline Garrett, had threatened disciplinary action if he continued wearing the hat.

However, the court noted that “no students or parents had ever complained about Dodge’s MAGA hat.” Further, “In sum, while some of the training attendees may have been outraged or offended by Dodge’s political expression, no evidence of actual or tangible disruption to school operations has been presented.”

The ruling also added that Principal Garrett had allegedly allowed other political symbols to be displayed, such as a Black Lives Matter poster and a Bernie Sanders sticker on her own vehicle.

“Based on the long-established precedent of both this court and the Supreme Court, a reasonable school administrator at the time of the events in this case would have known that this was improper and the perceived unpopularity of a political view is not itself justification to prohibit protected expression,” the court discussion added.

From the ruling

In its conclusion, the court found that “any violation of Dodge’s First Amendment rights by Principal Garrett was clearly established where long-standing precedent has held that concern over the reaction to controversial or disfavored speech itself does not justify restricting such speech.”

For those reasons, the previous court ruling was reversed (a grant of summary judgment in favor of Garrett). Via The Gateway Pundit, U.S. District Judge James Robart had previously ruled that Garrett’s actions did not violate Dodge’s Constitutional rights.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered its decision via a panel of three judges, according to Reuters.

You may also like