A judge on Wednesday dismissed charges against a New Jersey man who faced a fine for flying flags supporting Donald Trump.
Joseph Hornick was ticketed in March for violating an ordinance that restricts the display of political signs until 30 days before an election. New Jersey’s primary is June 7.
The town considered the flags supporting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee the same as political lawn signs, acting borough administrator Lori Cole said.
Hornick’s lawyer argued the ordinance was vague on whether it also applied to flags.
Judge Louis Garippo Jr. agreed, calling the law “somewhat vague.” He said he was dismissing the case “in the interest of justice.”
The local American Civil Liberties Union chapter joined the dispute, saying people have the right to express their political beliefs every day.
Hornick had faced a minimum fine of $100. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000, 90 days in jail or both.
“Let the flags fly. Let ’em fly,” he said afterward. “You take my freedom away, I’d rather sit in jail, bottom line.”
Hornick’s attorney said the borough council is now in the process of drawing up a new ordinance that addresses the issue of the clutter of political signs without infringing on rights.