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Free Speech? ACLU Will Defend the KKK in Battle Over Highway Cleanup Program

Free Speech? ACLU Will Defend the KKK in Battle Over Highway Cleanup Program

"...we are still working on the strategy..."

ATLANTA (The Blaze/AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union will help the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in its bid to join Georgia's highway cleanup program as a legal fight looms. Earlier this month, we first told you about the KKK's plans to participate in a well-known adopt-a-highway program in Georgia.

For obvious reasons, the state's Department of Transportation declined the radical group's application and now -- as many expected would happen -- a legal battle is on the horizon. While free speech advocates claim that the group has a right to participate, others (and clearly the government) aren't so sure.

Some officials publicly stated that they feared the KKK was attempting to pull a publicity stunt and that participation in the program would lead to promotion and increased membership.

"This is about membership building and rebranding their name in a public way," said Democratic state Rep. Tyrone Brooks earlier this month. "If the state approves [their application] then they are complicit."

ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Debbie Seagraves tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the civil rights group will assist the Klan in its battle with the state.

"Yes, we are representing them, but we are still working on the strategy," Seagraves confirmed on Tuesday.

This isn't the first time that the KKK has taken communities on over similar restrictions. During a similar case in 2005 in Missouri, a lengthy legal battle unfolded. In the end, the extremist group was victorious in securing a First Amendment victory.

The International Keystone Knights of the KKK applied to join the "Adopt-A-Highway" program along part of Route 515 in the north Georgia mountains. Participating groups are recognized with a sign along the road they adopt.

Seagraves says the ACLU considers the legal drama a First Amendment case.

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