A man named Ross Brunet, who had received multiple citations for displaying flags on his pickup truck that were critical of President Joe Biden and his supporters, has successfully reached a substantial monetary settlement with a resort town in Louisiana. These flags were considered offensive, resulting in numerous citations against Brunet, who works as a construction contractor and frequently operated on Grand Isle, Louisiana. The island had implemented a regulation prohibiting the exhibition of materials that the community found to be indecent.
According to The Independent, between 2021 and 2022, Brunet displayed a total of three flags on his work truck. Two of these flags were directed towards President Biden, while the third advocated for breast cancer awareness. During this period, he received a total of seven citations.
The Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic initiated a legal action against the city on behalf of Brunet in federal court. In the lawsuit, Brunet’s legal representatives contended that he had been cited as an effort by the community to suppress his freedom of speech. The lawsuit succeeded, resulting not only in Brunet being awarded a $40,000 settlement but also in Grand Isle agreeing to revoke the ordinance.
Additionally, Grand Isle will cover Brunet’s attorney fees. The Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic publicly declared its representation of Brunet in January through a post on its website.
The legal assistance organization likened this case to several significant free speech cases previously adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court. One such case was Cohen v. California in 1971, where the court ruled in favor of Paul Robert Cohen, who had been charged with causing a disturbance.