Court Watch - POSTED: 2009/02/06 10:47
The New Jersey Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a 10-foot inflatable rodent has rights.
The pink-eyed giant rat appears at union protests around the state. The case has pitted a local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers against a central New Jersey town, and a ruling is expected Thursday.
Lawrence Township fined the union for using the rat in a 2005 protest. The township says the union violated an ordinance against balloons and other inflatable signs.
Union lawyers argue the law violates their right to free expression and suppresses protest.
The township claims the union's use of the rat is a form of commercial speech and is less deserving of First Amendment protections.