The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont says the conduct of a white man accused of distributing Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers to two minority women last year is protected by the First Amendment.

Authorities say William Schenk passed out the fliers to a black woman and a Hispanic woman in Burlington last October. He pleaded no contest in April to disorderly conduct.

Schenk has appealed his case to the state Supreme Court. He's argued his speech was protected by the Constitution because he was trying to recruit new members.

ACLU attorney Jay Diaz argued in court papers that the state is attempting to criminalize political speech and needs to prove the speech is threatening.

Prosecutors say Schenk's actions aren't protected because he targeted women of color.