Getty Images

The KKK is taking on the state of Georgia over a stretch of highway. They say they want to take part in a program that allows groups to "adopt" a section of highway, help keep it clean, and put their name on signage on that stretch of the road.

The Georgia Department of Transport denied the group's request, on the grounds that signage with the Ku Klux Klan name on it would be distracting to drivers and that anything written on the road signs would constitute government endorsement of the KKK.

Advertisement

“Erecting an [Adopt-A-Highway] Program sign with the KKK’s name on it would have the effect of erecting a sign announcing that ‘the State of Georgia has declared this area Klan Country,'” the state's legal argument reads. “Such a statement is absurd and would date this state back decades.”

At least on Twitter, there doesn't seem to be a lot of support for the KKK getting to officially put its name on a road.

Advertisement

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the KKK in court. They argue that the case is about freedom of speech, and has wider implications than just the rights of the KKK.

Advertisement

“Here, the state of Georgia has adopted or created a program where it enlists the participation of civically minded organizations.  That could be a church, it could be a nonprofit organization.  It includes the Ku Klux Klan," Maya Dillard Smith, the executive director of the Georgia American Civil Liberties Union, told Atlanta's WSBTV.

On Thursday, a state appeals court heard arguments from both sides. Reuters reports that an attorney for the state drew a comparison with the Supreme Court's recent decision granting the state of Texas the right to deny requests for Confederate flag license plates.

This isn't the first time the ACLU has represented the KKK in a case like this: In 2012, they helped the Klan sue the City of Cape Girardeau in Missouri over their right to put leaflets on cars to recruit new members.