The battle over The Bus Ad That Wasn't will continue.
Did I say battle? Make that the "WAR with Jewish people."
The fight, for those that have forgotten, is over an ad campaign that was ultimately cancelled by King County Metro, which would have put an ad on buses showing the rubble-strewn aftermath of an Israeli military strike on Palestine along with the words "Israeli War Crimes, Your Tax Dollars At Work."
The ad prompted intense outrage among the Jewish community and Metro ultimately changed its advertising practices altogether so that the agency now accepts no politically-themed ads.
Metro cited dozens of threatening letters, emails and phone calls it got from people threatening "WAR with the Jewish people" and to "shut Metro down."
After Metro banned the ads, the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign filed a lawsuit arguing that its First Amendment rights were violated by the decision to drop the ads. But a federal judge cited the numerous threats to Metro as reason enough for the agency to not run the ads and SMAC's lawsuit was dismissed.
Now the ACLU is stepping in with an appeal.
From a statement released Thursday:
"In a free and democratic society, we cannot allow the government to suppress lawful speech," said Kathleen Taylor, ACLU of Washington executive director. "We should keep in mind that mild speech doesn't need protection. It is when we are faced with controversial speech, speech that is upsetting to some people, that support of the First Amendment is most important," added Taylor.