Posted: March 04, 2009
8:59 pm Eastern
By Joe Kovacs
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Herb Quintero says a mural of marine life on his store is artwork, not a sign, and he’s now suing Clearwater, Fla. He has since posted a banner of the First Amendment over the game fish. (courtesy Tampa Tribune)
CLEARWATER, Fla. – City officials here apparently don’t have a problem with flying the American flag, but posting the text of the U.S. Constitution is a very different story.
A federal judge is now deciding if government officials are going overboard in fining a Florida bait and tackle shop owner $500 a day for displaying the First Amendment atop a mural of marine life on his building.
U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Jenkins today heard initial arguments in a federal lawsuit as the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking an injunction to stop the city of Clearwater from fining businessman Herb Quintero.
Under questioning by Quintero’s team, the city’s lone witness, Planning Director Michael Delk, was forced to admit that if the business had posted a U.S. flag instead of a First Amendment banner, it’s likely the Quintero family would not have been cited for violating the sign code