First Amendment

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Malum Prohibitum, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    Blurb in AJC Metro today about man arrested for passing out religious tracts on a public sidewalk. Case thrown out, but, I mean, haven't these officers heard of the First Amendment?
  2. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

    I can't imagine their report.

    "um...we didn't like what he was saying. So we just sorta brought him to jail."

    Does the First Amendment even apply in Georgia?

  3. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    They make a habit of ignoring the second and fourth amendments, so why would you expect them to bother with something so pointless as the first?

  4. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

    They're just following the example set by the White House...

    Yahoo! News

    Bush hails freedom, but can he handle a lousy T-shirt?

    Fri Aug 24, 12:22 AM ET

    President Bush's speech at the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Independence Day in 2004, invoked the nation's highest ideals: "On this Fourth of July, we confirm our love of freedom, the freedom for people to speak their minds. ... Free thought, free expression, that's what we believe," Bush told the crowd.

    Ringing words. Unfortunately, the White House advance team didn't get the memo. Or the message.

    More than an hour earlier, the advance officials, working with local police, had confronted and ejected a young couple who had come to the speech wearing T-shirts that fit any reasonable definition of free expression. The front of both shirts bore the name "Bush" surrounded by a circle with a slash through it; the back of Jeffery Rank's shirt carried the slogan "Regime Change Begins at Home" and Nicole Rank's shirt read, "Love America, Hate Bush."

    The Ranks refused demands to take the shirts off, turn them inside out or leave. Though they were on public property and not being disruptive, they were handcuffed, arrested and charged with trespass. The charges were later dropped, and with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ranks sued the White House advance personnel for violating their First Amendment rights.

    Last week, the government settled the case, admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to pay the Ranks $80,000. That avoidable expenditure of taxpayer dollars #-o speaks volumes about who was wrong here.

    It would be one thing if the Charleston incident were an isolated case of overzealousness. But it's not. People have been kicked out of a Bush event in Denver because their car bore a "No More Blood for Oil" bumper sticker. Others have been kept out for wearing a Young Democrats shirt. Extraordinary efforts were made to prevent protests from marring the GOP convention in 2004 at which Bush was renominated.

    During the Ranks' suit, the White House was forced to cough up a heavily censored copy of its advance manual, which reads like something Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez would love. Among the advice: Advance personnel should ask the local police department to designate a protest area, "preferably not in view of the event site or the motorcade route."

    It's vital, of course, that the Secret Service protect the president from physical threats when he appears in public. And it's understandable that the White House wants to have the president speak without disruption from people who disagree with him. But it's important that cloistered presidents know that there are people who disagree with them, and there are disorderly conduct laws to deal with protesters who cross the line.

    Dissent is a bedrock of our system. The administration, with its penchant for secrecy and order, never quite gets that and repeatedly tries to draw the line too broadly.

    Even people who might be sympathetic toward Bush are tiring of this cavalier arrogance. When he returned to Charleston in 2006 for a fundraiser at a private home, the Secret Service demanded that the local police keep protesters off a bridge the motorcade would cross. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, a Republican, refused. The Secret Service compromised, and protesters got onto most of the bridge.

    If you profess to love "the freedom for people to speak their minds," as Bush told the Charleston crowd in 2004, you have to assume you're not always going to love what they say. Instead of a lengthy manual on preventing and handling demonstrators, Bush's advance people need a refresher course on a somewhat older manual. It's called the Constitution of the United States.

    The White House declined to provided an opposing view to this editorial because, according to spokesman Tony Fratto, the Presidential Advance Manual is an issue in two other pending lawsuits.

  5. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

  6. M249

    M249 New Member

    Sweet! I've not got a way to get the fun fund built up!

    When's the POTUS coming back the Atlanta?

    I seriously hope it's his staffers, and not George. I would expect the President to hold the Bill of Rights in high regard.

    Oh... wait. Yeah, never mind.
  7. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

  8. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

    Scary isn't it. :( Oh well just when we were getting past that anti-leo reputation.
  9. M249

    M249 New Member

    You guys are really looking at this all wrong! $80,000 for wearing a T-Shirt? Do you know how much practice ammo you can get for $80K?

    I expect to catch grief over this, but... Thank you, ACLU! I wish they'd help us fight for the 2nd Amendment, but I'm glad they are fighting for the first and the fourth.

    I truly expect more out of my President. I don't think we've had a president that was worth a damn since January 20th, 1989.
  10. fallison

    fallison Guest

    Their religous tracts were all the probable cause we need!