06/25/2018: "Restraining Order Requested Against County"
Nick Power has filed a Temporary Restraining Order against San Juan County and its Auditor Milene Henley in federal district court in Seattle, asking for the immediate removal from the official homepage of San Juan County an “op-ed” piece written by the County Auditor related to posting of political signs.
On May 21, 2018, Mr. Power brought suit against the San Juan County because a County ordinance limited the posting of political signs to a period of 45 days before an election. Time limits on the placing of political signs have been repeatedly held unconstitutional because they violate free speech under the First Amendment.
After the suit was filed, the County agreed that the ordinance that limited when a political sign could be posted was unconstitutional.
However, on May 30, 2018, San Juan County Auditor, Milene Henley posted an “op-ed” on the County’s website saying that despite the unconstitutionality the time limit should nevertheless serve as a “guideline” and that such signs were “pesky”, an “infection,” and as “blight.”
Mr. Power requests the removal of this “op-ed” piece because it is an official act which has the effect of chilling the rights of citizens to speak freely on political matters.
A time for the hearing has yet to be set, but because of the emergency nature of the request, the Court is expected to hear this matter within the next week.