First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
print this   Print

Ga. woman sues over ticket for anti-Bush bumper sticker

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA — A woman who was ticketed for having an obscene anti-President George W. Bush bumper sticker filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against a Georgia county and its officials.

Denise Grier, 47, of Athens, Georgia, got a $100 ticket in March after a police officer in DeKalb County, which is in suburban Atlanta, spotted the bumper sticker, which read “I’m Tired Of All The BUSHIT.”

Although a DeKalb judge threw out the ticket in April because the state’s lewd bumper-sticker law that formed the basis for the ticket was ruled unconstitutional in 1990, Grier is seeking damages for “emotional distress” against the county, according to the lawsuit.

Grier also seeks a declaration in federal court that her bumper sticker is considered protected speech under the First Amendment because she is “uncertain and insecure regarding her right to display her bumper sticker in DeKalb County,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

“This type of sarcasm in relation to political figures is as old as the country,” said her attorney, Frank Derrickson. “We think this bumper sticker is just the latest example of this. We want to be assured that not just Ms. Grier but anyone who wants to have fun with the powers that be should be able to do that under the First Amendment.”

DeKalb County spokeswoman Kristie Swink said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Grier, a nurse who works at Emory University and other hospitals, also is seeking punitive damages against the DeKalb police officer who gave her the ticket because he “acted with reckless disregard” of her rights, the lawsuit said.

The state law prohibited lewd or profane stickers and decals on vehicles.

Derrickson said Grier still has the anti-Bush bumper sticker on her car.

“I think she’s got better ones than that, at least the ones that I saw,” he said.

Bush-bashing bumper sticker lands motorist in free-speech fight
Police officer stops woman for 'I'm Tired Of All The BUSHIT' sticker, claiming it violates Georgia law prohibiting lewd, profane decals on vehicles. 03.29.06


Veteran: Marines' policy barring certain bumper stickers is off-base

Camp Lejeune, N.C., worker who displayed anti-Muslim decals on his car files free-speech suit against officers. 11.15.08

Upon reflection, 6th Circuit rubs out rearview-mirror decision

On Dec. 19, court declared Michigan's law on mirror ornaments unconstitutional; on Dec. 31, it withdrew that ruling. 01.05.09

Oklahoma City driver stopped for 'Abort Obama' sign
Police take, later return homemade sign; Secret Service interviews Hal 'Chip' Harrison, determines he's not a threat to president. 02.20.09

Bumper stickers

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

Last system update: Friday, April 23, 2010 | 17:11:22
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
How to contribute
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment

Religious liberty in public schools
First Reports
Supreme Court
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Freedom Sings™
First Amendment

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment

Lesson plans
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links