The American Civil Liberties Union filed a free speech lawsuit on behalf of one of the nation’s most prominent right-wing provocateurs on Wednesday, arguing that Washington, D.C., transit officials violated Milo Yiannopoulos’ 1st Amendment rights by removing advertisements for his new book.
Yiannopoulos, who is British, is not the group’s only client in its lawsuit filed in federal court against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The ACLU’s lawsuit also objected to the agency’s decision to block ad placements for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the abortion provider Carafem and the ACLU itself.
But it’s the left-leaning group’s defense of Yiannopoulos — a former editor of Breitbart News who has criticized the ACLU in the past — that is likely to raise the most eyebrows.
The ACLU has long filed free speech cases on behalf of far-right groups and individuals who are traditionally adversaries of the ACLU’s own base of supporters, who have counted on the civil liberties organization to act as a bulwark against the Trump administration in the courts.
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