In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a Ku Klux Klan group’s lawsuit to adopt a highway can continue, CNN reports.
The justices dismissed the Georgia Department of Transportation’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling because the state failed to follow the correct filing procedures.
This ongoing battle began in May 2012, when the International Keystone Knights of the KKK applied to the transportation department to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program. The group wanted to adopt a one-mile portion of State Route 515 in Union County.
Under the program, the KKK group would pick up trash along that stretch of the highway. And in return, the transportation department would post the group’s name on a sign along the roadway.
However, the transportation department rejected the application, in part, over the likely disturbance that would result from posting the name of a hate group on a public roadway.
In response, the KKK group sued the state with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, asserting its free speech rights.
It’s unclear where the legal battle is headed, according to CNN. The high court’s ruling sends the case back to the lower court for trial — if the hate group chooses to continue.
The network said Georgia suspended its Adopt-A-Highway program four years ago following the controversy.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty