By Bill Shields

PLYMOUTH (CBS) – Joe Casieri of Plymouth isn’t shy about letting passersby know his feelings for President Biden. He has a sign firmly planted in his front yard that reads “Biden Is Not My President.”

But it was the sign he first put up, that got the town’s attention. That one was simple. It said “(Expletive) Biden”. But Joe took it down after 15 minutes he says.

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“It wasn’t even up for days and days and days, it was only up for a little bit,” Casieri said. “And then it got taken down because I figured that’s a little bit over the top maybe or something so I took it down.”

The problem for Joe was that Plymouth has by-laws prohibiting speech with offensive language, and political signs that are left up for more than a week after an election.

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So, the town told Joe to take down the “Not My President” sign. Joe called the ACLU who sent the town a letter, explaining how the by-laws were unconstitutional. “Much of the speech that people want to engage in may be deemed insulting,” said ACLU attorney Ruth Bourquin.

So the town acquiesced and Joe put back up the “Not My President” sign.

“Everybody has the right to freedom of speech,” Casieri said. “That’s what this case was about. Everybody whether it’s left, right, middle.”

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Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said the town will work to update the bylaws so no one’s rights are violated. “But we do want to make sure that we keep some civility in some way,” Arrighi said.

Bill Shields