BERLIN — Germany's top court says the country's education minister overstepped constitutional boundaries and exceeded her neutrality in a statement she made about a nationalist party.

Johanna Wanka had suggested that people should join protests against the Alternative for Germany party, which had organized a rally against the government's refugee policy in November 2015. She said the party, known by its German acronym AfD, should be shown a "red card."

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that government institutions are allowed to respond to criticism but their reaction has to remain factual.

AfD welcomed the ruling.

Wanka, a member of Angela Merkel's party, isn't part of the next chancellor's next Cabinet.