The couple was escorted from a Denver Museum where GWB was giving an open to the public speech on Social Security. A lily livered Federal Appeals Court dismissed the suit in January, with the majority saying that the defendants were entitled to immunity from the lawsuit because there was “no specific authority” on the question of “how to treat the ejection of a silent attendee from an official speech based on the attendee’s protected expression outside the speech area.” What a crock.
Once again, free speech gets trampled by the Stevens Court in their efforts to serve the aristocracy. The Scotus continues its run of obsequious toadying to the Executive Branch, that is if the Executive Branch is seated Republican. Where are all the voices of the so called right wing libertarians decrying this decision? Strangely silent, you can be assured.
I quote from the NYT:
The dissenting appeals court judge, William J. Holloway remarked that the case was an obvious violation of the First Amendment. “It is simply astounding that any member of the executive branch could have believed that our Constitution justified this egregious violation of plaintiffs’ rights,” he wrote. Justice Ginsburg said that no specific authority was needed, given a half-century of general precedent that applies “even to conduct startling in its novelty” — throwing people out of a public government event for views expressed elsewhere. “Ejecting them for holding discordant views,” Justice Ginsburg said of the plaintiffs, “could only have been a reprisal for the expression conveyed by the bumper sticker.” Such official reprisal, she said, offends the Constitution.
I furnish a portion of the dissent which I find illuminating:
The Court of Appeals suggested that this Court’s deci-
sion in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisex-
ual Group of Boston, Inc., 515 U. S. 557 (1995), could have
justified a decision to exclude individuals who appear to
disagree with the President’s views. But the comparison
serves only to highlight the unlawfulness of Weise’s and
Young’s alleged treatment: Not only was this an official
presentation of the President’s views, not a private act of
expression as in Hurley; in addition, unlike the Hurley
plaintiff who sought to engage in competing expression,
Weise and Young were “silent attendee[s],” 593 F. 3d, at
1170 (emphasis added). Their presence alone cannot have
affected the President’s message. Therefore, ejecting them
for holding discordant views could only have been a repri-
sal for the expression conveyed by the bumper sticker.
“Official reprisal for protected speech ‘offends the Consti-
tution because it threatens to inhibit exercise of the pro-
tected right.’” Hartman v. Moore, 547 U. S. 250, 256
(2006) (quoting Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U. S. 574, 588,
n. 10 (1998); brackets omitted).
You disagree with the President, expect to lose your rights to free speech. The Federalists have quite a royalist streak, with an inherent belief that the people serve the state rather than the state serving the people. Jefferson would turn over in his grave if he saw the mockery that we have become and the ease with which we have surrendered our civil rights.