Friday, February 8, 2008

Police and the First Amendment

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. — ratified 1791.

Department of the Interior. 31 January 2008. Point for the police.
Now, the police are not constitutional scholars, nor enthusiasts. Their tendency is to follow a certain teutonic ideal of, „verboten ist alles, was nicht ausdr├╝cklich erlaubt ist
.* Some people want an Endangered Species Act listing for the polar bear. This man found out what the agents of the government think of the First Amendment. He tried quietly through humor to advance his argument. The police were not amused.

U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood ruled, on the same day, that the Ferndale† police are not permitted to ticket peace activists, who encourage drivers to toot toot, and such car drivers who do. Such police and civil action is a violation of law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan had filed the lawsuit. The residents of Michigan, now have legal precedence, that a display of a sign, that reads, "Honk for Peace", is not a threat to public order. The police and city argued, creatively and duplicitously, that such aggravating behavior was a danger to public safety. Of course, since the war began, no accident happened there, not so in Iraq. — Point for the Constitution and the citizenry.

*everything is forbidden, that is not explicitly permitted
†a suburb of Detroit Michigan

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