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Group appeals MBTA’s ad rejection to Supreme Court

An anti-Islamist advocacy group filed a petition to the US Supreme Court after a Massachusetts appellate court in March affirmed the MBTA’s right to reject a proposed subway advertisement on the grounds that it was “demeaning or disparaging.” The ad, paid for by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative, reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel; defeat Jihad.” A November 2013 district court ruling for the MBTA was affirmed on appeal. The initiative to the high court argues that the ad’s rejection constituted viewpoint discrimination and the appeals court decision merits further review on the First Amendment issue.

Jennifer Smith can be reached at jennifer.smith@globe.com.