Sun. Jun 9th, 2024

Vermont’s Top Court Weighs: Are KKK Fliers Protected Speech

SOUTH ROYALTON – The state’s top court is considering whether the distribution of Ku Klux Klan fliers is protected speech.

The five-justice Vermont Supreme Court met in a packed Vermont Law School lecture hall Wednesday to hear the appeal in the case of William Schenk, a North Carolina man who left KKK recruitment fliers at the homes of two minority women in Burlington last year.

Schenk was convicted in April of two counts of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a longer sentence than usual because the court considered his offence a hate crime. He was defended by Rebecca Turner, a lawyer from the state Defender General’s Office.