Constitution in the National Archives originally uploaded by Mr. T in DC
Last week’s poll asked if you were tired of winter yet and, not surprisingly, the vast majority of people said they were indeed tired of winter. Well folks, bad news for you but we’re getting even more snow this week. Boo! JUST MAKE IT STOP.
This week’s poll comes after reading this article in Wired‘s Threat Level blog which talks of a man who was arrested and charged with a crime for violating the District of Columbia’s ‘unlawful entry’ statute. His argument that his First Amendment rights were violated supposedly do nothing but help the government’s case because they argue the Supreme Court building is a “First Amendment Free Zone”.
From the article:
A Florida man deserved to be arrested inside the Supreme Court building last year for wearing a jacket painted with “Occupy Everything,” and is lucky he was only apprehended on unlawful entry charges, the Department of Justice says.
The President Barack Obama administration made that assertion in a legal filing in response to a lawsuit brought by Fitzgerald Scott, who is seeking $1 million in damages for his January 2012 arrest inside the Supreme Court building. He also wants his arrest record expunged.
Fitzgerald was not disturbing anybody, but was repeatedly told by court staff to leave the building or remove the coat. Outside the building, about a dozen “Occupy” protesters were arrested.
While there are definitely limitations for how you are permitted to express your First Amendment rights (i.e. shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater), is it really appropriate to be forcibly removed from the building where these rights are determined for doing exactly the same thing and having the government claim it’s a building where you have no such right?
What do you think about this one? Are you surprised the government is trying to argue there are no First Amendment rights in the Supreme Court building? Are the guy’s demands reasonable? Do you think his actions constituted reason for him to be arrested regardless of the government’s stance? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on below and vote on the sidebar as I’d love to hear what you have to say.