Wow. Yeah, the Times has the story.
The City Council adopted an ordinance last week making it illegal to form any kind of group without its permission.
That is a clear violation of the Constitution, legal scholars agree. But it is also a sign of just how nasty politics has gotten in Gould, a farming town of 1,100 some 70 miles southeast of Little Rock, where members of the Council have struggled with a local political group that seeks to influence how the town is governed. The mayor, Earnest Nash Jr., also happens to be a member of the political group, the Gould Citizens Advisory Council.
The ordinances were passed last month, then vetoed by the mayor, and then overridden by the Council on July 12. The mayor said he would go to jail rather than stop meeting with local groups or withdrawing his support from the advisory council.
“These ordinances are blatantly unconstitutional,” Mr. Nash said. “For the most part, people are just ignoring them. They are continuing to meet in groups. I am continuing to talk with citizens.”
And here is the rationale for the ordinance:
“This ordinance was worded wrong,” she said. “It wasn’t written to stop people from meeting. It was written to treat everybody fairly.”
Does the ACLU even need to file a lawsuit here?