The Kemper County Messenger (Austin Bishop) reports:
The Kemper County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance during its regular meeting on Monday that makes it unlawful for any person of any age to appear in public in Kemper County in a clown costume, clown mask or clown makeup. The ordinance was signed into effect by Kemper County Board President Johnny Whitsett at 11:28 a.m. on Monday and expires the day after Halloween.
The ordinance is enforceable by the Kemper County Sheriff’s Office and violators can be fined up to $150.
But this likely violates the First Amendment. Wearing costumes is constitutionally protected, as the Supreme Court held in Schacht v. United States (1970), a case dealing with actors who were prosecuted for wearing a military uniform as part of political street theater; and the court has long protected speech engaged in for entertainment purposes as much as speech engaged in for overtly political purposes (e.g., Winters v. New York (1948);Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n (2011), the violent video game case).