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Prohibited Pony Protest at Clinton Event Spurs Vermin Supreme Speech Suit

"No pony has ever attacked an American politician," the lawsuit notes.

Nima Taradji/Polaris/NewscomNima Taradji/Polaris/NewscomPolitical gadfly and perennial presidential hopeful Vermin Supreme is suing the city of Concord, New Hampshire, because it denied him a permit to protest outside a Hillary Clinton book-singing. The protest Supreme envisions involves him and two live ponies appearing outside Gibson's Bookstore, where Clinton will appear on December 5.

Supreme hopes to compel local officials to issue him a protest permit, or at least to prevent them from taking action against the protest.

This is part of Supreme's standard schtick: a "political platform" centered on government-funded ponies for all Americans, complete with a federal pony identification system and a rule that people have their equine companion with them at all times. ("Some voters have interpreted this as commentary, satire, and political parody about a political system that rewards candidates who promise free benefits without discussing cost or practicality," the suit states.)

Supreme's pony platform is one of many ways the performance-art-influenced activist attempts to comment on government overreach.

But while ponies are allowed at the location where he planned to protest, and while city officials were willing to let him bring them there a different day, they denied him a permit to protest on the day of Clinton's book signing. Eugene Blake, an officer with the Concord Health & Licensing Services Department, allegedly told Supreme's team that the sole reason for denying the protest permit was to avoid interfering with Clinton's book event.

This is an "unconstitutional prior restraint on activity that is at the core of the First Amendment," states Supreme's suit, penned by prolific First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza.

"Supreme's message will be lost if he is not able to protest Hillary Clinton outside near the book signing" on the day it takes place, the lawsuit says, noting that Clinton's book references and criticizes a hypothetical free-pony platform and that this forms the basis for Supreme's protest idea. "Given that Mrs. Clinton will likely only have a book signing of this particular book in the City of Concord once, and given that Mr. Supreme's groundswell of support is in New Hampshire, the ability to share his political speech at this protest is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Randazza argues that the city's actions do not fall within the scope of reasonable "time, place, and manner restrictions" on speech, as such restrictions must be narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government aim and not subject to broad discretion by bureaucrats. In this case, his lawsuit argues, the city's decision "was not even thought out—much less thought out so that it would be narrowly tailored." What's more, making a private book signing more convenient or pleasant for Clinton and her fans is not a legitimate government interest.

The city did not even cite safety concerns, the suit states. But even if it did, this worry would be misplaced: "To the best of the Plaintiff's knowledge, no pony has ever attacked an American politician—and presumably the Secret Service would be able to intervene, should Mr. Supreme try and find some way to break that drought in pony-on-politician violence."

Photo Credit: Nima Taradji/Polaris/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    BUT HOW IS HE PAYING FOR THIS PROTEST?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    An excise tax on ALL CAPS SHOUTING.

  • DaveH||

    ... " a Hillary Clinton book-singing."

    I just love these Freudian slips!

  • albo||

    *blinks*
    That headline is 100 percent incomprehensible. Brilliant achievement!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Horses are strange and frighting things though. I still shudder when I think about how James "The Adonis" Polk was transformed by witches into one of the rare breeds of horse then deemed fuckable by congress.

  • Rhywun||

    Who leaves a city packed with ponies to go to a non-pony city?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Ken White?

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    +1 "Everyone had pony!"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "I just don't see what purpose is it gonna serve your going? I mean, you think dead people care who's at their funeral? They don't even know they're having a funeral."

  • Scotticus Finch||

    a Hillary Clinton book-singing.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, here to sing Chapter Three: Mr Burt Bacharach!"

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Up next, Eddie Vedder, whose incomprehensible babbling accentuate Hillary's mindless rambling.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    " The protest Supreme envisions involves him and two live ponies appearing outside Gibson's Bookstore"

    Is this anything like the Tijuana Donkey Show?

  • Radioactive||

    only if you're extremely lucky...

  • Mitsima||

    Hillary. Clinton. I would not do that to any equine. One just might find oneself being pelted with tomato-covered rocks.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    But Hillary could be in grave danger! Grave I tells ya! What if the pony poops? Hillary might faint and fall face first into the poop! Then what, huh!?

  • FreeRadical||

    Oohhh, a man can dream, can't he?

  • Radioactive||

    I call horse shit!!!

  • FreeRadical||

    Ponies are mean, I tell you. They have a bad case of small-man syndrome.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    New Hampshire, because it denied him a permit to protest outside a Hillary Clinton book-singing.

    Why do we need permission from the government to protest?

  • Brandybuck||

    Otherwise the wrong people might protest.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    I think Popehat's head is going to explode.

  • Johnniebgoode||

    This man is brilliant. A pony in every garage....why didn't I think of this?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Prohibited Pony would be a good name for a Wilco album.

  • newlife3.0||

    Oh COME ON!!! If there was ever a headline and photo for alt-text, this would be it!!

    Hey, I may be lazy on thinking up my own alt-text, but you guys started it, so bring it! Quit slacking on the alt-text!!

    (Been wanting to write about the general lack of alt-text the last... however long, but I haven't so there).

  • retiredfire||

    "Some voters have interpreted this as commentary, satire, and political parody about a political system that rewards candidates who promise free benefits without discussing cost or practicality," the suit states.


    If what "some voters" interpret can be the basis for a lawsuit, then anything could be dragged into court.

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