[Cuomo is a disgusting dirt bag. Jan]
Cuomo signs bill banning sale of Confederate flags
December 15, 2020 | 8:09
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law aimed at banning the sale of “hate symbols” such as the Confederate flag or the swastika on state property — even while admitting the new edict might clash with the First Amendment and be struck down as unconstitutional.
The new law — effective immediately — prohibits the sale of hate symbols on public grounds including state and local fairs, and also severely limits their display unless deemed relevant to serving an educational or historical purpose.
But Cuomo said the rule likely needs “certain technical changes” so the Empire State doesn’t get caught treading upon free speech protections codified in the Constitution’s First Amendment.
“This country faces a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate — what I have referred to in the body politic as an American cancer,” Cuomo wrote in his approval message.
“By limiting the display and sale of the confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred from being displayed or sold on state property, including the state fairgrounds, this will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols.”
He continued: “While I fully support the spirit of this legislation, certain technical changes are necessary to balance the State’s interests in preventing the use of hate symbols on state land with free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
But noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams argues Cuomo may have a larger problem on his hands, extending beyond a quick “technical” fix.
“Governor Cuomo is correct that the First Amendment may require changes in the law in light of the First Amendment. A private entity can choose to sell or not sell offensive symbols but when the government bans the sale of offensive, but constitutionally protected symbols, on its property the First Amendment comes into play,” Abrams told The Post.
A Cuomo spokesman said the governor’s legal team will be reviewing the bill in consultation with the state Legislature to make a possible amendment.
“There’s going to be a chapter amendment that limits the prohibitions at the state fair, to ensure that we are respecting the protections that the Supreme Court has recognized for individuals and vendors at state fairs to exercise their First Amendment rights,” explained Maya Moskowitz, press secretary of bill sponsor state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx).
Meanwhile, the governor also signed a new law making it illegal for federal immigration agents to make civil arrests of undocumented individuals when they enter, attend or leave a state courthouse without a federal warrant.