ACLU backs Georgia KKK’s ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ effort
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has confirmed that they are representing a Georgia Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group who was not allowed to join the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
The International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County recently applied to “adopt” one mile of Route 515, located in the Appalachian Mountains near North Carolina. The state would have been forced to give the group official recognition in the form of road signs bearing their name and other benefits in return for cleaning up litter on the stretch of highway.
Within 48 hours, the Georgia Department of Transportation rejected the request, claiming the group had a “long rooted history of civil disturbance would cause a significant public concern.”
“Impacts include safety of the travelling public, potential social unrest, driver distraction, or interference with the flow of traffic,” the department said in a statement. “These potential impacts are such that were the application granted, the goal of the program, to allow civic minded organizations to participate in public service for the State of Georgia, would not be met.”
ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Debbie Seagraves on Tuesday told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her group would represent the white supremacists.
“Yes, we are representing them, but we are still working on the strategy,” she explained, declining to give any additional details on the case.
The state of Missouri in 1999 argued that they could bar a KKK group from participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program without violating their First Amendment rights. With the help of the ACLU, the group eventually won after the state’s case was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.