The previous ruling had found that New York enforced the ban selectively against the Ku Klux Klan, whose members are known for their tall, white, cone-shaped hats and eyelet masks.
The Klan had argued that the masks were expressive of their beliefs and that the right to anonymous expression was guaranteed by the US Constitution.
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However, the three-judge appeals court ruled yesterday that simply wearing the well-recognised robe and hood was enough to link the wearer with the Klan.
“The expressive force of the mask is, therefore, redundant,” the court said.
The ruling ends a case that stretches back to 1999, when a Klan request for a parade permit was turned down by the New York City Police Department on the basis of the anti-mask law.
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