Archive for Friday, September 14, 2007

Supreme Court takes up case about inflatable rat

September 14, 2007


— The state Supreme Court can add "inflatable rat" to its list of cases.

The case is about whether a town can ban a 20-foot inflatable rat.

The super-sized rat - on its hind legs and baring fangs - had been blown up and displayed at a 2005 labor event in Lawrence Township until police enforced a law that bans banners, streamers and inflatable signs, except those announcing grand openings.

A labor official was fined $100 plus $33 in court costs.

The event was staged by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to protest low wages being paid to electricians by an out-of-area contractor. The rat is a symbol used by organized labor to signal a labor dispute.

A three-judge appeals panel ruled Thursday that Lawrence Township could ban the big black rat and affirmed the labor official's fines.


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