Court Says It's No Free Speech Violation To Kick People Out Of Presidential Speech Due To Their Bumper Stickers

from the but-does-it-make-sense dept

In an interesting appeals court ruling, a court has said that there was no free speech violation in two individuals being removed from a George W. Bush speech (while he was still President), because of the bumper stickers on their cars (which were decidedly anti-Bush). While I'm a big supporter of free speech -- especially when it comes to criticizing the President or other elected officials -- I have to admit that I tend to agree with the court here. The President and his staff had every right to determine who attended the speech for whatever reason. Excluding anyone from hearing a speech isn't a violation of their free speech rights, because there is no guaranteed right to attend such a speech in person. That said, I think it's particularly lame that a President -- or anyone in authority -- would purposely keep out those who disagree with them, rather than being willing to respond to their criticisms. As we saw just last week when President Obama responded directly to Republican questions, responding to those who disagree with you can often be quite a lot more productive than ignoring them.


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  1.  
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    davebarnes (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Sad.

    Excluding people from a public event when they have valid tickets is just not right.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Gov't vs Private

    The President and his staff had every right to determine who attended the speech for whatever reason.

    Was the President acting in his capacity as a government official? If so, then it was wrong for a government official to punish these people for exercising their free speech rights. If not, then it was was wrong for a government agency (the US Secret Service) to do so on behalf of a private party. Just wrong either way.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    WTF?

    "I have to admit that I tend to agree with the court here."

    Wow. No way. The only reason this isn't BLATANTLY stupid is because, based on the annual reports they publish, they don't appear to directly benefit from taxpayer money, though they do have close affiliations with other museums, facilities, and organizations that DO get tax money, from which they admit they benefit (though are specific by what that means.

    That's beside the point. If you offer people the chance to show up, you ought not be allowed to do so with the ONLY caveat being your support of what they're going to say, particularly if you're a political person or org that benefits from public funds in any way. That's specific discrimination, and it goes against the basic tenants of our nation.

    "The President and his staff had every right to determine who attended the speech for whatever reason."

    They ought only have that right if the event was by invitation only, and they chose who to send the invites to. If they open it up, they open it up. In this case, the two plaintiffs received free tickets from a govt. official who had them to give...so either it was open OR they were invited. To then turn them away once they have tickets SOLELY because they don't agree with the speech giver, and THEN for anyone to call this a PUBLIC appearance? Astounding. The right to participate in the political process exists in America, and I would go so far as to say that, depending on how enforcement was handled, this might ALSO have violated the 14th amendment to the constitution.

    "President Obama responded directly to Republican questions"

    Oh, please. Being in the same room with them isn't responding directly to their questions. He may have responded, and he may have done so directly, but those direct responses certainly didn't address most of the questions.

    Off Topic: BTW, as much as I feel bad for the folks in Haiti, can we find a way to ditch the Unicef ads? The kid that lady is holding looks like Chunk....

     

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  4.  
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    Joyce Carr, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    Free Speech

    If this isn't a breech of free speech than nothing is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Sad.

    Valid ticket be damn.

    It is those Du Pont vest that one needs to worry about.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Sad.

    Excluding people from a public event when they have valid tickets is just not right.


    I agree that it's dumb and serves little purpose, but not "right"? Why? They have ever right to deny service to whoever they want.

     

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  7.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Important Correction

    The linked article heavily implies that it was the Secret Service that kicked those folks out of the event. As someone who was there, I'd like to correct that false implication. It was actually the White House staff that did the ejecting, not the Service.

     

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    Fentex, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    It surely was a violation of their rights

    A U.S President (and/or their representatives) punishing people for having exercised free speech would appear to be a forbidden executive branch act against constitutional rights to me.

    It isn't about any right to attend or speak at an event, it's about state employed authorities attempting to suppress the exercise of free speech by punishing people for having done so.

    This was a public speech given by a public official to which attendance was denied by public officials on the basis of a previous exercise of free speech.

    That court was wrong.

     

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  9.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    Re: WTF?

    That's beside the point. If you offer people the chance to show up, you ought not be allowed to do so with the ONLY caveat being your support of what they're going to say, particularly if you're a political person or org that benefits from public funds in any way. That's specific discrimination, and it goes against the basic tenants of our nation.

    I agree that it's obnoxious and dumb, but it's not illegal. Can you find the law that says otherwise?

    My point is that it is dumb and makes Bush look like he's afraid of dissenters with bumperstickers (which seems to do a whole lot more harm to his reputation than actually facing them). But it's not illegal.

    They ought only have that right if the event was by invitation only, and they chose who to send the invites to. If they open it up, they open it up. In this case, the two plaintiffs received free tickets from a govt. official who had them to give...so either it was open OR they were invited. To then turn them away once they have tickets SOLELY because they don't agree with the speech giver, and THEN for anyone to call this a PUBLIC appearance?

    Yes, obnoxious and stupid, but, again, not illegal.

    The right to participate in the political process exists in America, and I would go so far as to say that, depending on how enforcement was handled, this might ALSO have violated the 14th amendment to the constitution.

    No way. The right to participating in the political process includes the right to be protected against laws stifling speech and the right to vote. Nowhere is the right provided to attend a political function.

    Oh, please. Being in the same room with them isn't responding directly to their questions. He may have responded, and he may have done so directly, but those direct responses certainly didn't address most of the questions.

    You miss my point. The point was that he actually stood in a room full of people who disagreed with him, and took and answered their questions. You may disagree with many of his answers (as do I), but the point, which I think is irrefutable, is that he did in fact face those who disagreed with him. Bush, on the other hand, refused to do that, even to two random people because of their bumpersticker.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Free Speech

    If this isn't a breech of free speech than nothing is.


    What "free speech" was blocked?

     

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    Umm, no thanks, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Questionnaire

    As part of your ticket request, please complete the attached questionnaire and include a minimum one page dissertation explaining why you agree with everything the president has to say.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Sad.

    "Why? They have ever right to deny service to whoever they want."

    Depends who "they" is. If it's the museum, then...maybe, but still probably not. As I noted above, these two got their tickets from a govt. official ostensibly authorized to give them away for free. So, either the speech was open to the general public, or they were invited. Either way, they were authorized to be there, and if the only basis for denying them entry once they arrived was their political affiliations, this is discriminating against them because of their "speech", and was done so either by or with the approval of government officials and/or law enforcement.

    Which is why I believe there might also be a 14th amendment violation if they were barred by anyone in enforcement collecting a government paycheck.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: WTF?

    "I agree that it's obnoxious and dumb, but it's not illegal. Can you find the law that says otherwise?"

    Yes, the first and possibly fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution. Follow my thought process here and tell me where I'm wrong:

    1. The two plaintiffs obtained their tickets to the event, which gain them entry, by a government official who was authorized to give them away.

    2. The facility utilized for what was described as a public appearance is NOT a govt. facility, and no additional clearance or authorization is required to gain entry.

    3. Per the two above, the plaintiffs were reasonably authorized to attend a public appearance made by a public official.

    4. They were denied entry solely due to something that case law and common sense both define as protected speech.

    5. This denial was either sanctioned by people's serving in public office (1st amendment violation), and possibly enforced by either municipal, state, or federal law enforcement (14th amendment violation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Important Correction

    It was actually the White House staff that did the ejecting, not the Service.

    Assuming the White House staff went through the parking lot looking for objectionable bumper stickers, how did they then match those vehicles up to attendees? Did the SS look up the license plates for them?

     

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    scott, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    Well, we all know how lame W was, so that is a given. Interesting that now at Obama speeches we have people coming armed and clearly spewing hate sewage and yet are not excluded. And if they were they would claim loss of free speech even though they were all fine showing up to bush-supporter-only rallies. The hypocrisy is beyond compare.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Important Correction

    > how did they then match those vehicles up to attendees? Did
    > the SS look up the license plates for them?

    No, the staffers simply saw them arrive and recognized them as people who had heckled the president during a previous event a few weeks before.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sad.

    So they could bar people just because they are the wrong color or go to church on the wrong day of the week? I guess they could do that and deserve the high temperature boiling oil bath afterward.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    1. The two plaintiffs obtained their tickets to the event, which gain them entry, by a government official who was authorized to give them away.

    No, the two tickets only said they were able to attend, should the organizers allow it. I could get tickets to a concert, but show up naked and the venue can choose not to let me in. Perfectly legit.

    2. The facility utilized for what was described as a public appearance is NOT a govt. facility, and no additional clearance or authorization is required to gain entry.

    Those organizing the event have every right to determine who to allow entry and who not to. There is nothing that says just because you hold a piece of paper that you are automatically guaranteed entry.

    3. Per the two above, the plaintiffs were reasonably authorized to attend a public appearance made by a public official.

    They were given a ticket to the event. That does not mean that they were given carte blanche to automatically attend the event no matter what. Those organizing the event have every right to later decide that they don't want certain individuals to attend.

    4. They were denied entry solely due to something that case law and common sense both define as protected speech.

    No, they were denied entry for fear of what they might do at the event. Again, I think this is stupid, and speaks poorly to President Bush and his staff, but it is not illegal by any means.

    5. This denial was either sanctioned by people's serving in public office (1st amendment violation), and possibly enforced by either municipal, state, or federal law enforcement (14th amendment violation.

    Again, neither is true. Saying that you can't attend is not a violation of free speech. No speech was barred in any way. The 14th Amendment argument is just silly. There is no 14th Amendment issue here at all. No one is trying to remove their rights to be citizens.

    You are misinterpreting both amendments as allowing proactive action in very specific circumstances. Neither is true.

    We agree that this was dumb. But it was not illegal, by any means.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    No, the staffers simply saw them arrive and recognized them as people who had heckled the president during a previous event a few weeks before.

    So it actually had nothing to do with bumper stickers then?

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    > So it actually had nothing to do with bumper stickers then?

    It was a combination of things. I think the staffers were wrong in what they did and I disagree with the court's ruling here, but at the same time, these were not wide-eyed innocents who got kicked out. They were professional protesters who showed up looking to disrupt the event and cause a confrontation. And they got what they wanted.

    Incidentally, if the staffers had just restrained themselves and contacted the owners of the museum hosting the event rather than taking it upon themselves to eject the protesters, there would have been no question of legality. The Wings Over the Rockies museum is private property and a private property owner is not bound by the 1st Amendment; they could have kicked the protesters out for just about any reason they liked and there would have been no legal recourse for them.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    "No, the two tickets only said they were able to attend, should the organizers allow it. I could get tickets to a concert, but show up naked and the venue can choose not to let me in. Perfectly legit."

    Oh come on, that would be legit because you're breaking a law: public indecency. They're not the same thing.

    "Those organizing the event have every right to determine who to allow entry and who not to. There is nothing that says just because you hold a piece of paper that you are automatically guaranteed entry."

    Dammit, they DID. They allowed another public official to give away two tickets, and therefore de facto authorized their attendance.

    "Those organizing the event have every right to later decide that they don't want certain individuals to attend."

    Based on blatant discrimination? I don't think so.

    "No, they were denied entry for fear of what they might do at the event."

    That's not what the article you linked to said. It said that they were denied because of their bumper stickers, which is protected speech.

    "Saying that you can't attend is not a violation of free speech. No speech was barred in any way."

    You're right. The attendance isn't the violation, it's the attempt to coerce or limit the protected speech of the bumper sticker by barring entrance to an event they were otherwise authorized to attend.

    "There is no 14th Amendment issue here at all. No one is trying to remove their rights to be citizens."

    Sigh, please tell me that was a poor attempt at playing dumb. The 14th amendment doesn't only outline the right to citizenship. It also affords all citizens equal protection under the law. If law enforcement officials barred them entry as a result of their political views, it's a 14th amendment violation. Calling it silly is insulting.

    "You are misinterpreting both amendments as allowing proactive action in very specific circumstances. Neither is true."

    Neither case I cited was proactive, it was reactive. Besides which, the 1st and 14th amendments ARE proactive measures against govt. and law enforcement.

    Yes we agree it was dumb, but at the very least a sensible argument can be made for illegality.

     

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  22.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    Dammit, they DID. They allowed another public official to give away two tickets, and therefore de facto authorized their attendance.

    No. They did not authorize attendance. They granted attendance if those on site decided it was okay. Those on-site always have the final word. There is nothing magical on the tickets that say "guaranteed entrance" and nothing in the law says that if you have a ticket you're guaranteed entrance.

    Based on blatant discrimination? I don't think so.


    What discrimination? The law only recognized discrimination in the workplace on a few very limited factors: race, age, gender/pregnancy. But that's got nothing to do with whether or not they can be kept out of an event. Seriously, where in the law does it say that it's illegal to keep people you disagree with out of an event? It doesn't.

    That's not what the article you linked to said. It said that they were denied because of their bumper stickers, which is protected speech.

    They were not prevented from speaking. Only from attending this event.

    You're right. The attendance isn't the violation, it's the attempt to coerce or limit the protected speech of the bumper sticker by barring entrance to an event they were otherwise authorized to attend.

    Again, attendance at an event is not a right. I don't see how you can claim it is.

    No rights were denied.

    Sigh, please tell me that was a poor attempt at playing dumb. The 14th amendment doesn't only outline the right to citizenship. It also affords all citizens equal protection under the law. If law enforcement officials barred them entry as a result of their political views, it's a 14th amendment violation. Calling it silly is insulting.

    No, it was completely accurate. Yes, it affords citizens equal protection under the law. But that does not include the right to attend a political event where the staff does not wish to allow you entry. There is no law against discrimination based on political views.

    Neither case I cited was proactive, it was reactive. Besides which, the 1st and 14th amendments ARE proactive measures against govt. and law enforcement.

    I don't understand what you mean here.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    No, the staffers simply saw them arrive and recognized them as people who had heckled the president during a previous event a few weeks before.

    So it actually had nothing to do with bumper stickers then? I wonder then why Wired reported "Shortly after Weise and co-plaintiff Alex Young got to their seats, they were asked to leave -– all because their vehicle in the parking lot had a bumper sticker the government did not like." What would cause Wired to make such a false statement? Moreover, the SS itself "confirmed to Plaintiffs that they were asked to leave because of the bumper sticker on Ms. Weise’s vehicle." Why would the also SS lie?

    Finally, while it may not have been an SS agent, the District Court did find that the person who ordered them out was indeed a gov't agent.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF?

    Those organizing the event have every right to determine who to allow entry and who not to.

    Not if they're the government.

    No, they were denied entry for fear of what they might do at the event.

    According to court documents, they were denied entry in retaliation for a bumper sticker previously attached to their car. I.e. for exercising their free speech rights. (Prior restraint is not the only way the gov't can violate the first ammendment. Retaliation for the exercise thereof is another way.)

    5. This denial was either sanctioned by people's serving in public office (1st amendment violation), and possibly enforced by either municipal, state, or federal law enforcement (14th amendment violation.

    Again, neither is true.


    The District Court found that they were asked to leave by government agents (who thus had legal immunity). So are you saying that what the court said is not true?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    Incidentally, if the staffers had just restrained themselves and contacted the owners of the museum hosting the event rather than taking it upon themselves to eject the protesters, there would have been no question of legality.

    Agreed, but they didn't. Thus the problem.

     

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    Urza9814, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    Re: WTF?

    It was a private event, and they were kicked out by the owners of the property.

    What you are suggesting is that if I throw a party, I can't kick people out if I invited them. Or really if a friend invited them. Actually in this case it would be more like a friend of a friend.

    So, I have this party. And I invite you. And you invite your friend Jill. And she invites her friend John. And John's a total douche - last party he vomited on my carpet. But he received a legitimate invite, so I can't kick him out, right? That's essentially what you're saying...

    Yes, it's stupid. Very, _very_ stupid. But it is perfectly legal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: WTF?

    It was a private event, and they were kicked out by the owners of the property.

    No, they were ordered to leave by gov't agents.
    http://www.ck10.uscourts.gov/opinions/09/09-1085.pdf

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: WTF?

    "It was a private event"

    Probably, though the administration referred to it as a public event.

    "and they were kicked out by the owners of the property."

    Uh, no they weren't. Try law enforcement. Hence the issue.

    "What you are suggesting is that if I throw a party, I can't kick people out if I invited them."

    Are you a public official having said event somewhere other than your home, printing ticketed invitations and handing them out to other public figures to give to their constituents? Do you have federal law enforcement agents catering to your whim? Otherwise, your analogy doesn't apply.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    > "Shortly after Weise and co-plaintiff Alex Young got to their
    > seats, they were asked to leave -– all because their vehicle
    > in the parking lot had a bumper sticker the government did
    > not like." What would cause Wired to make such a false
    > statement?

    It isn't technically a false statement. The "government" in this case is the staff, not the Service.

    The article gives the impression that it was the Service because earlier on, it talks about how the Service warned the protesters as they entered the museum not to cause problems. But you'll note that the Service did indeed let them in nevertheless. It was only later that the staff decided they didn't want them there that the staff kicked them out.

    > Moreover, the SS itself "confirmed to Plaintiffs that they were
    > asked to leave because of the bumper sticker on Ms. Weise’s
    > vehicle." Why would the also SS lie?

    They didn't. The Service confirmed to the plaintiffs that they were asked to leave BY THE STAFF. There was an investigation after the incident and when the protesters lawyered up and filed suit, depositions were taken and the USSS confirmed that yes, the plaintiffs were asked to leave because of their views but the USSS wasn't the one who did the asking.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 10:13pm

    It's not just freedom of speech...

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    They were not prevented from speaking. Only from attending this event.
    ...Nowhere is the right provided to attend a political function.
    The first amendment does not only guarantee freedom of speech. It also guarantees freedom of assembly, religion , etc. (see text above) Your argument that they weren't prevented from speaking does not cover the more relevant potential first amendment violation. One could argue that they were denied the right of assembly. (Though, the information provided later in this thread, could be cause to deny them entrance, this was not the argument you made.)

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:08am

    Re: It's not just freedom of speech...

    The first amendment does not only guarantee freedom of speech. It also guarantees freedom of assembly, religion , etc. (see text above) Your argument that they weren't prevented from speaking does not cover the more relevant potential first amendment violation. One could argue that they were denied the right of assembly. (Though, the information provided later in this thread, could be cause to deny them entrance, this was not the argument you made.)

    Freedom of assembly does not include access to any and all political events. They were not prevented from assembling at all. They had every right to assemble elsewhere.

     

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    DMNTD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:00am

    really?

    Well the problem we have here is that the constitution in all honestly has lost its teeth. Its now a "document" that just has some "good" principles to follow by and done so only by "good" people. If you deny this I have no words that are nice for you.

    Perhaps the problem is they sued for money? I would have sued for an apology from george himself because he did nothing to stop what was happening. See, its about principle but that's the wonderful thing about taking the Constitution into this thing we call law as of now..it LEAVES no principle to be had.

    I'm with D Helmet , the range of the implications may not seem large now but its always the little things guys, they come back larger like an abscess. After all these "presidents" are like teeth from the same jaw.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:51am

    Re: really?

    Well the problem we have here is that the constitution in all honestly has lost its teeth. Its now a "document" that just has some "good" principles to follow by and done so only by "good"

    Oh yeah? tell that to Obama he has repeatedly stated that the constitution is a flawed document

     

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    Spanky, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:57am

    In a Democracy? Seriously?

    No, techdirt, I disagree. This was a public event, held by the president of the united states, in his official capacity as president. The public has every right to attend, regardless of their views.

    Now if you want to argue that dissenters can be turned away from the rethuglican convention, I might have to sadly agree. That can be categorized as a private function.

    Y'know, techdirt, although I mostly agree with what you say, there are times when I think you seriously misunderstand The Constitution.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Important Correction

    > Finally, while it may not have been an SS
    > agent, the District Court did find that the
    > person who ordered them out was indeed a gov't
    > agent.

    In this case, the meaning of the word "agent" is being confused here. The court is using it in the context of agency law, which makes the government responsible for the actions of any government employee acting within the scope of his/her employment (in this case, the White House staff).

    The court was not using the term "agent" in the more common vernacular as a way of referring to federal law enforcement personnel.

     

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  36.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:45am

    Re: Nonsense

    > Interesting that now at Obama speeches we have
    > people coming armed and clearly spewing hate
    > sewage and yet are not excluded.

    Baloney. Cite me one instance where an armed individual was allowed access to an Obama site.

    Betcha can't, because it's never happened.

    You're presumably referring to the individual this past summer who showed up at the health care event in Arizona carrying a rifle. That individual never entered the secure perimeter. He remained outside the perimeter where state law was in effect and in the state of Arizona, it's not illegal to carry a rifle in public.

    As for "hate sewage", I'd be interested in hearing your definition of that term, because for every hateful thing said about Obama by a protester, I can find examples of just as many Bush protesters saying the same things (and worse).

    But I guess it's only "hate sewage" when it's said about the guy you like, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:48am

    Re: really?

    > I would have sued for an apology from george
    > himself because he did nothing to stop what was
    > happening.

    Of course such a ruling in itself would also be a violation of the 1st Amendment.

    Bush has just as much right to speak or not to speak as anyone else, especially now that he's a private citizen, and no court can order him to say something he doesn't want to say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Re: In a Democracy? Seriously?

    > In a Democracy? Seriously?

    The USA is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Ralph-J (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Breach of promise/informal contract?

    Could an invitation to an official presidential speech not be seen as legally binding?

    In the case where you turned up naked for a concert, it could be argued that you actually violated a law or a contract clause, and non-admittance would have been valid. Yet not honoring an invitation for something like unfavorable free speech (that happened outside of the event) seems arbitrary and disproportionate, if it was even mentioned in the rules for admittance (hidden clause, anyone?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: In a Democracy? Seriously?

    "The USA is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic."

    No, it's an oligarchy posing as a constitutional republic that constantly talks about the virtues of democracy.

    In other words, our own govt. is full of crap....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    mfeltn01 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:30am

    bushes speech

    i aghree with the edtior no one should one been left out. Anyone weather they agree or disagree should of been able to tend this speech. Basically all it shows is that Bush believes that he is right and all that disagree are wrong. If someone disagrees it is for a reason maybe a miss understanding or the disagree for a really good reason. but all should be alowed to be heard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: WTF?

    "You may disagree with many of his answers (as do I), but the point, which I think is irrefutable, is that he did in fact face those who disagreed with him. Bush, on the other hand, refused to do that, even to two random people because of their bumpersticker."

    Not the same situation at all. Obama faced a group of professional, elected representatives who he has every responsibility to converse with. That is very different than dealing with the obnoxious, shout-down type of behavior that often comes from those attending a public function of the opposite party. If Obama faced did a question-and-answer with a small panel of right-wing attendees of the RNC, then that would be equivalent.

    That said, I'm glad that Obama put on the show of bipartisanship. I am saddened that it was clearly only a show.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    kevjohn (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Nonsense

    I'm guessing he was referring to this: http://tinyurl.com/osl39e

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

    > I'm guessing he was referring to this: http://tinyurl.com/osl39e

    Yes, that's the Arizona incident I referred to. And that individual was not allowed into the event with his weapon as "scott" claimed. He was outside the venue, outside the secure perimeter. He was basically out in the "rest of the world" and in the State of Arizona-- all the parts that are not part of a presidential site-- you're allowed to carry weapons around like that.

    Even the article you cited makes the point that these individuals were not inside the events, but rather outside the secure perimeters:

    "It was the latest incident where gun-carriers have been spotted outside
    events where the president has appeared, usually to tout his health care
    reform plans on an increasingly dubious public."

    And incidentally, this sort of thing isn't unique to anti-Obama protesters. When Bush was running for president the first time back in 2000, the New Black Panther Party would routinely show up at his campaign appearances in Texas openly carrying loaded shotguns, which again is perfectly legal to do in Texas. At least with the Obama protesters, they were just random individuals, not an organized group with a history of violence.

    And of course the New Black Panther protests didn't make the media with nearly the national saturation as it did when Obama protesters did it. I wonder why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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