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View Diary: Man Wearing 'Occupy Everything' Jacket Arrested At First Amendment-Free Zone In SCOTUS Building (222 comments)

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  •  Wow, really? (21+ / 0-)

    You're going to arrest them for "Occupy Everything"? Man, this police state would be fucking hilarious, if I didn't want to cry at the same time.

    Then again, if this case does go to the Supreme Court, it'll probably end up being decided against him.

    And how the fuck did we end up in a First Amendment Free Zone?

    •  Keeping SCOTUS deliberations free from politics? (14+ / 0-)

      You also can't campaign in front of a voting booth.
      1st amendment isn't an unrestricted right, just like the rest of them

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:42:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Restrictions have to be based on something (7+ / 0-)

        A compelling government interest balancing rights with other equally important considerations is required to restrict those rights.  What compelling government interest is demonstrated here, other than the danger that SCOTUS justices might hear what the people think of them?

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:51:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What compelling interest is there (3+ / 0-)

          Keeping campaigning out of voting booths?  I would say that people should be able to reach decisions without a lot of campaigning go on around them, both you and I AND the SCOTUS
          I think thats the reason behind this.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:54:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again... (11+ / 0-)

            Occupy is not a political party, and does not run candidates for office.  There is no more justification for banning an Occupy jacket than wearing an NRA patch on your jacket, or wearing a pink ribbon on your lapel.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:06:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Makes no difference if its a party or not (7+ / 0-)

              Thats irrelevant to the situation. Occupy as a group wasn't arrested, the guy who refused to comply with the orders of the security guard was arrested
              It doesn't matter whether its a party of not or wherther it runs candidates or not. Parties, or individuals, can't demonstrate in the SCOTUS building. Thats simple enough.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:27:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So where's the line? (5+ / 0-)

                Should someone be arrested for a jacket that says "Jesus Saves"?  How about "Support Our Troops"?  If not, why not?

                Do they in fact arrest people for that sort of thing, or is it only if the message challenges those in power?

                “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:53:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They don't arrest you for (6+ / 0-)

                  wearing something.  If the Supreme Court police think it's associated with a "movement" under the meaning of the statute, they will ask you to cover it up or leave.  They do that all the time.  

                  And they ask people will all kinds of messages to cover up or leave.  There is some discretion as to whether a "display" would convey to someone support a "movement" under the statute, but in January 2012, it's kind of absurd to argument that someone seeing "Occupy Everything" would NOT have associated that with support of the Occupy movement.  And from what I've seen, they are pretty over-inclusive with everyone.  If you've got a "message" on your t-shirt, you can probably expect them to ask you to cover it up (or even go in the bathroom and turn it inside out) or leave.  

                  They only arrest you if you refuse to obey the directive of the Supreme Court police.  

                  •  So they ask people to cover any and all messages? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Steven D

                    The examples I gave would not be allowed?  After all, Christianity is surely a movement as well.  Support for the military arguably is as well.  How about wearing a cross, or a star of David or a yellow ribbon?  Would you be asked to cover those up or face arrest?  Should you?

                    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                    by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:14:02 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Pretty much all messages that are "spelled out" (6+ / 0-)

                      for sure.  I remember the last time I was (tourist trip) there someone in my group was wearing something I thought was pretty innocuous and was asked to turn her t-shirt inside out.  She did.  

                      I don't think if you wore a cross as jewelry, or a star of David, or a flag pin, or  hijab, or a military uniform, you would be asked to remove it or leave.  It pretty much has to seem, to someone else, like it's conveying a message in support of a "movement," as the statute puts it.  So, "covert to Christianity" or "God wants such and such" or  "Thou shalt not kill" (the anti-abortion sign I've seen in front of houses) or "Allahu Akbar" or something like that would probably be treated similarly.  (If I remember correctly, this member of my group, who has fundamentalist Christian views, was wearing some written message on her shirt about God when she was asked to turn her shirt inside out or leave.)  

                      •  Well if they really are rigorously consistent (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Quicklund

                        then that makes this somewhat more acceptable.

                        Personally, though, I think it would send a better message if an institution with such real importance to civil rights would go as far as possible to err on the side of more rather than less freedom.

                        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                        by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:35:59 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "err on the side of more rather than less freedom" (6+ / 0-)

                          I think if they did that they would probably be getting sued every week.  The safest course for them to take is to prohibit all advocacy messages.  Once they get into the business of deciding which advocacy to allow and which to prohibit, they're asking for 1st Amendment-based challenges, and they'd probably be losing a lot of those cases.

                          •  I'm not arguing for an inconsistent standard (0+ / 0-)

                            just a more liberal one.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:58:34 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A "more liberal standard" means that you have (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            VClib

                            this right outside the door of the courtroom in the SCOTUS building on a regular basis.  A "more liberal standard" means that, not only can serious people protest there, but every wacko on the earth can protest there.  

                            And it's a pretty small building.  That would be completely disruptive to the functioning of the Court.

                          •  Absolutely every wacko has the same rights (0+ / 0-)

                            as we eminently sane folks do.

                            And a more liberal standard doesn't mean absolutely everything goes.  One could allow printed shirts and jackets without allowing signs or loud chanting or whatever.

                            I really fail to see how a jacket with writing on it disrupts anything, any more than a symbol like a cross or a star of David or a swastika does.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:29:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because if people could protest inside (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, Catte Nappe, Villanova Rhodes

                            the SCOTUS building, you'd have people there all the time wearing stuff or carrying signs.  And then how do you restrict people from saying things?

                            What you would have, for example, is a group of people who are anti-abortion at the Court on a regular basis, wearing shirts with pictures of dead fetuses, hoping to catch a justice, or even one of the law clerks or secretaries, going to the Court cafeteria so they could tell them all about God and "dead babies."  

                            Or, at the very least, they'd be trying to talk to every tourist who comes into the building to see the history of the SCOTUS and to see the courtroom, and tell them what God thinks about "dead babies."  

                            It's a small building, like I said. I don't think you want that to be going on constantly.  The justices and their staffs have the right to do their work in their place of business without constant protests (even if they aren't loud protests) from people, and I have a right to go see this important place in our democracy without being accosted by those people while I'm reading the displays about the Court.  

                          •  How does banning words on shirts (or not) (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            have anything to do with what people say?

                            Are you making some sort of slippery slope argument?  If one gives even a millimeter then one necessarily gives up everything?

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:59:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So for the sake of argument... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            coffeetalk, Smoh, Villanova Rhodes

                            ...let's cut out the part where advocates actually say something, and just look at what would be likely to happen if the Supreme Court changed only the rule that requires that people cover up clothing with messages on matters of political or social controversy.

                            If you think that the Supreme Court opening the building to clothing with controversial messages wouldn't result in the building being packed tomorrow (and all subsequent days) with people wearing t-shirts with pictures of dead fetuses or anti-abortion slogans—and packed to the point where it is impossible for others to, say, look at the historical exhibits in the building—in the hopes of even a sliver of a chance that a Supreme Court justice would see those dead fetuses and be moved to ban abortion, you're fooling yourself.

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:18:47 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait ... I thought images (crosses, etc.) are fine (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            so if we're really being content neutral, pictures of dead fetuses should be fine under current policy.  It's only the printed slogans that are out.

                            So why isn't the place already packed?

                            As for "packed" - as I said below set a limit on how many admitted at any one time and make it first-come first-served.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:18:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The current rule isn't just words. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, Villanova Rhodes

                            The current rule bars "a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement."

                            Images of dead fetuses would qualify under that policy; depending on the nature of the religious message, religious messaging might qualify as well.

                            As for the first-come, first-served language, I don't think that would necessarily make the situation any better; if abortion opponents knew that this was the policy, you can be quite sure that a big pack of them would be the very first people in line with their fetus t-shirts every morning, and they'd hang around inside until they closed the building at night.

                            Limiting the number of people admitted might keep the abortion opponents from packing the place out, but it wouldn't make the historical exhibits or other stuff for tourists inside any more accessible to the people visiting for non-advocacy purposes.

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:30:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, then ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            Why are not crosses and the like barred?  A cross is certainly a "device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement." (specifically Christianity)  

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:56:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Depending on the size of the cross... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh

                            ...or the religious messaging it carries, I think it could run afoul of that rule.

                            A little cross around someone's neck, I don't think would be an issue; an overtly proselytizing message might be, depending on the situation and nature of the message.

                            It might also be argued that a cross is a form of religious clothing, like a hijab or a priest's collar, in which case it would be permitted under the free exercise clause. If I'd gone to the Supreme Court on Ash Wednesday, should I have been required to scrub the ashes off of my forehead?

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:02:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait ... the free exercise clause has more force (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            than the free speech and assembly clauses?

                            And yes.  If this guy can't have a message on his jacket, you shouldn't get to have a message on your forehead.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:09:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What's the alternative? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh

                            Would you suggest that observant Muslim women must remove their hijabs to enter the Supreme Court building, or observant Jewish men their yarmulkes, forcing them to choose between transgressing their deeply-held religious customs or being barred entry to the Supreme Court building?

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:12:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, my suggestion you may recall (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            is to allow printed messages on clothing.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:17:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think we disagree on where that would lead... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jrooth, Smoh

                            ...and since neither of us can really present any evidence for our hypothetical scenarios, there's not a lot more we can say here. Thanks for the discussion.

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:39:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, it's a small building. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, BachFan, Villanova Rhodes

                            And if you open it up to people wearing shirts like that, you are liable to have a hundred anti abortion people there on a regular basis, wearing shirts with pictures of dead fetuses.  Even if you had enough police around to make sure they don't actually say a word (impossible), the fact that they could have a large group of people all wearing shirts with dead fetuses walk in front of the law clerks when they go to around the building, or sit in tables in the cafeteria with pictures of dead fetuses while the law clerks (or even the Justices) are eating, making it difficult for the Court staff to go about their business.  If you are a law clerk, 25 people with pictures of dead fetuses and "God will send you to hell" on their t-shirts following you through the halls, or waiting for you when you walk to the cafeteria, or staring you down while you try to eat in the cafeteria (even if the police could prevent them from actually SAYING to you "God will send you to hell for killing babies") is pretty disruptive.  

                              If you allowed protests (even if they are just visual) in the building, protesters would be there all the time, on a regular basis.  If you allow that, you will ATTRACT lots and lots of people whose only purpose for being at the building is in the hopes that they can send a message.  (And if you've been there, the wait to get in to see it as a tourist is long enough already.)   You have to make a rule that applies across the board.  Either (1) you let in every single person with a picture of a dead fetus on a shirt that says "God will send you to hell for killing babies" or (2) you say this building is not the place for advocating a movement.  I prefer option 2.  And if it's content neutral, and applied consistently across the board, option 2 is completely constitutional.  

                            The SCOTUS building is not a museum.  It is an office building where a lot of people go every day to conduct the legal business of this country.  And they are entitled to go about their office to do their work without being faced with scores of people trying to send them a political message.  The fact that we allow people in to see their office because of its symbolic significance  doesn't mean that they should have to be faced with group after group standing in the halls of their office building, or in the cafeteria of their office building, with a political message to share.  

                          •  Set a maximum # admitted at any given time (0+ / 0-)

                            and make it first come first served.

                            And I missed the part in the Constitution where we have a right not to be faced with a political message.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They already do that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, Villanova Rhodes

                            which is why there's often a wait for someone who wants to see the historic displays to get in.

                            Having huge additional crowds of protesters would disrupt the ability of citizens to see the historic building and displays that are part of the building. Far fewer tourists could get in if every day there were large numbers of people with protest shirts waiting in line, day after day, to get in, in the hope of having a justice or even a law clerk see their message.    It's a small building.  It doesn't hold a lot of people.  You'd have more people turned away.  

                            Protesters have other options.  Those who want to see the building do not.   The purpose of the building is two fold (1) to serve as an office building; and (2) to let people see some of the history and symbolic significance of the Supreme Court.  If you added a third (3) the exercise of First Amendment rights, you'd interfere with the ability of people to do (1) and (2).  There's no reason to interfere with purposes (1) and (2) if there are other nearby options for people to exercise First Amendment rights.  

                            That's the same reason why the government can prevent you from using the streets,or a public park, for a protest without a permit.  When a large number of people exercise their First Amendment rights on certain public property (like streets or a public park), you can interfere with the ability of others to use that public property in the way it was INTENDED to be used.  You interfere with the ability of drivers to drive on the street, or with the ability of others to use the park for picnics, or outdoor games, or walking dogs, or whatever the park is intended to provide to the people.  Government can restrict your first amendment rights in a content-neutral way so as to allow others to have use of the public property in the way the property was intended to be used -- as long as you have reasonable alternative options for exercising your first amendment rights.  If you allow protesters (people who are there for the primary purpose of conveying a political message) to flood the SCOTUS building on a regular basis, not only do you interfere with the orderly operations of the office, but you crowd out the people who want to see the building.  Protesters can go right to the sidewalk outside to do their protests; people can't go anywhere else to see the Supreme Court building .

                          •  Isn't all this speculation a form (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JamesGG

                            of prior restraint?  Have we actually seen the Supreme Court flooded with protesters day after day to the point that it is impossible for the public to access the building as intended?   Shouldn't we have to demonstrate that there is an actual problem in a specific instance which is interfering with a purpose sufficiently compelling to justify abridging the first amendment before we go ahead and do so?

                            By the way, this discussion brings up the separate but somewhat related problem of what comprises "reasonable alternative options for exercising your first amendment rights."  That's something that is very much under fire with the creation of "national special security events" and their associated "free speech zones" situated far out of sight and hearing.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:05:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This isn't prior restraint at all. (4+ / 0-)
                            Isn't all this speculation a form of prior restraint?  Have we actually seen the Supreme Court flooded with protesters day after day to the point that it is impossible for the public to access the building as intended?Shouldn't we have to demonstrate that there is an actual problem in a specific instance which is interfering with a purpose sufficiently compelling to justify abridging the first amendment before we go ahead and do so?
                            I'd wager most courtrooms in this country haven't themselves been the sites for situations in which people engaging in acts which would have been protected political speech outside the courtroom have created a disruption by doing so inside the courtroom—and yet they all have rules against such things.

                            That's because this really isn't a prior restraint issue. Prior restraint is when the government restricts something from being spoken at all without an extremely compelling reason for doing so. Time, place, and manner restrictions have never been considered prior restraint, nor have they ever been required to clear the same high legal bar as prior restraint.

                            If this situation were one of prior restraint, this guy would have been told he couldn't wear that jacket anywhere; as the situation actually was, he could have gone just outside on to the building's steps and worn that jacket to his heart's content without anyone being on firm legal ground in telling him to remove it.

                            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:31:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You need to do a little more looking at (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, Catte Nappe, Villanova Rhodes, VClib

                            time, place and manner restrictions.  That's what you are talking about.  As JamesGG points out, this is not "prior restraint"  -- that means you can't say it (or publish it) at all, anywhere.  

                            As far as alternatives for exercising the First Amendment, yes there certainly are issues when the "free speech zones are blocks -- or even miles -- away from the event being protested.  But there's no argument that the sidewalk outside of the SCOTUS building -- which the Justices can see from their windows -- is not a reasonable alternative.  

                            You don't have a First Amendment right to "speak" (orally, or through visuals) anywhere, and any time, you want.  Government can't ban from EVER speaking (at any time or any place), but it can place "time, place, and manner restrictions" on speech, saying, for example, you can't have a protest gathering of 50 people in a park in the residential neighborhood where Justice Scalia lives at 2 in the morning.  They can say, you can't go past  Senator Schumer's receptionist into his office whenever you want to exercise your free speech right to tell him what you think of legislation. They can say, you can't stand in the middle of the freeway at rush hour to exercise your free speech rights.  They can say you can't have any political t-shirts or signs within so many feet of a polling place.  You may not AGREE with the time, place, and manner restrictions.  But as long as they are related to some kind of legitimate government interest (and keeping order for others, or keeping a facility available for others, or letting others exercise their rights without being interrupted by protesters is a legitimate government interest), are content-neutral, and give you some reasonable (not necessarily perfect in your view, but reasonable) alternatives, such restrictions are constitutional.  

                        •  I agree that unless this guy intended to push it (0+ / 0-)

                          until he got arrested, this was one of the lamer efforts on the part of the SCOTUS police.

                          I see what you did there.

                          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:45:34 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, because there are so many reliable (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            markthshark, mrkvica

            mechanisms to inform the public and apply pressure to the plutocracy you serve.

            When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

            by Words In Action on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:15:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He could have worn that shirt right outside (7+ / 0-)

              the building on the sidewalk to "inform the public."  

              Groups have very high profile demonstrations outside of the Supreme Court building all the time.  

              •  I'm very well aware. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dallasdoc, markthshark, wader

                Having been arrested with Cornel West and 18 others on the steps in Oct. '11 protesting the plutocracy and those who support it.

                Moderates will decide as much as anyone how this goes. There will be disruption. The Climate and the climate will bring that about. Moderates will be the swing vote.

                When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

                by Words In Action on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:49:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is what I don't get... (0+ / 0-)
                He could have worn that shirt right outside (2+ / 0-)

                the building on the sidewalk to "inform the public."

                How could any determination of intent be made that Scott wanted to "inform the public," when (1) he was quiet and subdued while he was in the SCOTUS lobby. And (2) it was two lousy words on a jacket that he may have just felt like expressing at the time.

                Where's the intent to inform anyone?

                This is not the movie "Minority Report." We don't have "thought" police in this country... not yet anyway.

                "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:22:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  They must have damn good hearing... (7+ / 0-)

          Scott was quiet about it. He didn't disturb anyone.

          What compelling government interest is demonstrated here, other than the danger that SCOTUS justices might hear what the people think of them?
          That makes this whole thing even more troubling to me.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:59:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was the Occupy sweeatshirt that offended (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster, nextstep, wader, BachFan

            if he hadn't been wearing that where it was restricted, nothing would have happened. He was told repeatedly to take it off or leave and he didn't.
            Sorry but i don't see being told you can't wear a certain sweatshirt, or to take a sweatshirt off, where such is restricted, as a major violation of human rights.
            he'll get his day in court

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:18:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, I'm wondering about the specific outrage (6+ / 0-)

              There was apparently an Occupy demonstration outside the building and he was walking around with an "Occupy Everything" statement on his jacket inside - relating the two seems natural.  Regardless of outside activity at the time, it's a contemporary political statement and seems to easily fall against the rules of display in the building.

              Perhaps this individual was attempting to push the boundaries, which I think is fine, but getting bothered that the rules happen to still exist and this person knowingly bumped against them is sort of like reporting on easy cause->effect.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:31:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  No compelling interest needed. (9+ / 0-)

          The SCOTUS building isn't a public forum.  It's a nonpublic forum, so the rules don't have to serve a compelling interest.  They just have to be reasonable and not based on viewpoint.

        •  If an issue has gotten to the SCOTUS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark

          then it's definitely 'had its day in court' already.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:39:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  the display clause is full of political BS (5+ / 0-)

          i did a quick google. and one case says the purpose of the display clause is to "preserve the appearance of the court as a body not swayed by external influence."

          Lol, so our justices have not been swayed by external influence of political agendas etc? Courts ruling on the display clause should listen to our supreme court justices speak in public and read their judicial opinions if they wanna see some "external influence."

           

          [T]he statutory restriction on expression at issue here [40 U.S.C. § 6135] is reasonable as a measure, among other purposes, “to preserve the appearance of the Court as a body not swayed by external influence.” Potts, 919 A.2d at 1129 (citations omitted). The disruptiveness of a particular form of expression is not the primary harm the statute seeks to avoid. Rather, the statute prohibits expression such as picketing, leafletting, and wearing t-shirts with protest slogans because such expression is “designed ․ to bring into public notice [a] party, organization or movement,” Potts, 919 A.2d at 1130, for the purpose of swaying the opinion of the Supreme Court..

          "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:50:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  this is a level of absurd that i can't fathom (7+ / 0-)

        what if i wore a tee shirt with the word 'think' on it into the scotus?

        and what if 'think' were the name of some political organization?

        'occupy everything' is as about as ambiguous as 'think'

        what if the tee shirt read, 'sit-in'?  is that a political statement?  

        when we regulate words in such a way, anywhere, we are in big trouble.

        huge trouble.

        what if the shirt read 'democracy'?  and what if 'democracy' were the slogan of a new iteration of 'occupy'?  

        clothing always speaks.  his jacket must have been shouting, but only if the security guards had very sensitive hearing.

      •  OWS doesn't do politics... (4+ / 0-)

        It does democracy.

        And Scott didn't disrupt any deliberations.

        It just seems arbitrarily unfair and presumptuous that the Capitol Police somehow determined that Scott wasn't just quietly expressing a wish or a notion. He was denoting a movement too.

        There's something very wrong with that, in my estimation.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:53:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  what supreme court justices... (0+ / 0-)

        ...can't think for themselves and the site of a slogan on a jacket will sway their opinion.  How about having your wife work for an industry you are hearing a case about.  Don't you think that is more of a problem?  And like the current bunch of yahoos in the SC are not political.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:02:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  W. T. F.??? (6+ / 0-)

      SCOTUS doesn't feel it is bound by the First Amendment?  Isn't the cited law the very definition of what the First Amendment bans?

      Between our police-state DOJ and our monarchist SCOTUS, the illusion of representative democracy and civil rights is rapidly becoming a sick joke.

      Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed Sandra Day O'Connor.  Maddow's direct questioning on the responsibility of SCOTUS justices to rule in ways that preserve their own credibility as arbiters of constitutional questions was rebuffed by O'Connor, who wouldn't even consider the idea that justices would rule based on politics or other invalid grounds.  Thus showing that their sense of entitlement is dangerous to the credibility of the institution.  This kind of shit doesn't help.

      Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:49:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You couldn't post Occupy signs in a voting booth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        I'm not sure that means  voting booths have a sense of entitlement.
        a bunch of people standing in front of a boting booth with OCCUPY signs and sweatshirts on would have the same effect.

        SCOTUS doesn't feel it is bound by the First Amendment?  Isn't the cited law the very definition of what the First Amendment bans?
        As far as I know the 1st amandment does not apply to the SCOTUS in the sense you should be able to influence it by politicking outside while they make their deliberations.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:59:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why not? (4+ / 0-)

          The man in the diary wasn't posting signs, just wearing a jacket.  Is Occupy a political party?  Does it advocate for specific political candidates?  The difference between Occupy and political parties appears to be the demonstrated allergy of public officials to mere mention of the word.  

          The First Amendment is written in pretty plain language on its face, certainly less restrictive than the second.  It is interesting that freedom of religion seems much more stringently observed than freedom of speech.  Wonder why that is?

          Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

          by Dallasdoc on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:05:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know, me too! (0+ / 0-)

            I think whatever right is being more stringently observed is dependent on whose ox is being gored at the time..

            I woud also say that Occupy is a political force just like a party and as such should be under the same restrictions as everyone else.. whether it fits the precise definition of party is arguable

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:12:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Government CAN restrict speech in a (6+ / 0-)

            content-neutral way.  It's called a "time, place, and manner restriction."  

            As exlrrp says, government has -- legitimately -- prohibited speech on political issues within so many feet of polling places.  They can do this because (1) the either have to restrict ALL political speech or none, and (2) if there were no content-neutral, time place and manner restrictions on speech at polling places, partisans for candidates would be all over polling places, trying to convince people as they walked into the voting booth, interfering with their right to exercise their right to vote free from that kind of harassment.  Can you imagine if each polling place had signs all over saying (for example) "Obama is a Muslim" and people shouting at you about all the hateful things they could think of about the President?  If you allowed ANY political speech at polling places, you have to -- under the First Amendment -- allow it all.  

            The Supreme Court is the same kind of place.  It is NOT a big building.  The lawyers coming there to do their business with the Court, the law clerks and staff who work for the justices, the justices themselves, and the people of this country, have a right to have the building used for the purpose for which it was intended.  The way to do that is to prohibit all political type speech on the grounds, because if you allow ANY, you have to allow it all.  

            The First Amendment allows the Government to -- on a content neutral basis -- decide that certain places and times are not appropriate for the unfettered exercise of all free speech rights.  

            •  How about some common sense (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markthshark, Words In Action

              The words on this guy's jacket had nothing to do with any case at the court, nor did it have anything to do with any political party.

              You might as well arrest people for wearing labels like Adidas and Nike.

              And let's not stop there.

              We should arrest people for wearing suits because they assert class privilege. You will never see a factory worker wearing an Armani suit. The suit is a political statement of class.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

              by FishOutofWater on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:35:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Only Scott knows what his intent was... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                He was subdued while he was in the lobby. As far as anything anyone should have assumed is that Scott liked the terms "Occupy" and "Everything," and decided to put them together on his jacket in order to express himself that day.

                "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:49:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's not the question. (4+ / 0-)

                  What this person "intended" is completely irrelevant.

                  The law bans displays that are associated with movements.  If someone else would interpret that as being associated with the Occupy movement -- as clearly most people would have, in January 2012 -- it doesn't matter one iota what the wearer "intended." That's why they don't arrest you for wearing something that they see as conveying a message -- because you may not have intended it that way.  Instead, they come up to you quietly (they don't make a scene unless you "repeatedly" refuse) and tell you that you can't wear that shirt in the SCOTUS building, and ask you to cover it up or put it on inside out, or leave.  Like I said above, it's happened with people I was traveling with, who had not thought about the fact that what they were wearing would be considered "banned," but who complied with the SCOTUS police request.  

                  That's what they did with this person -- "repeatedly."  It was because he repeatedly refused that he was arrested.  

              •  So if his shirt had said (0+ / 0-)

                Abortion is Murder!!!

                you would also agree that he should not be asked to cover it up or leave, or be arrested if he refused?

          •  OWS only does democracy... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            footNmouth, Words In Action

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:17:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is SUCH a laugh (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster

              Boy, if ever I want to point to an example of how inflated  an idea that Occupy has of its own self, I'll point to that.
              Occupy does politics, just like everyone else

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:30:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, for which party do they advocate then? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                Admittedly, most of them are progressives but I've never seen nor heard them advocate for any political party.

                They don't do politics. They just do class war.

                Last I knew, small "d" democratic principles are non-partisan. And lately, I haven't seen either political party so inclined to push more democracy.

                "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:01:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  So signs on other issues... (9+ / 0-)

            ...should be acceptable too?

            If I want to stand inside the Supreme Court building with a sign that says "Ban All Abortions," that's fine as long as it's not advocating a political party or specific candidates?

            Seventeen months ago, saying that Occupy didn't have an agenda for policy would get someone a donut or three; now that very same argument is being used by proponents of Occupy to suggest that it's not a political movement. You're going to have to choose one or the other.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:26:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Could you post NRA signs (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark, Words In Action, Smoh

          at a voting booth?

          Better yet, do you think the Capitol Police would arrest someone with an NRA patch or other pro-2nd amendment motto in the SCOTUS Building?

          What about of they wore an ACLU shirt?

          To be clear, I'm not asking if you think the law is or is not unconstitutional, I'm asking you if you believe the Capitol Police would arrest an individual wearing apparel supporting the NRA, gun rights or the ACLU?  And would you find it acceptable if they did?

          "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

          by Steven D on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:54:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, like the Bush vs. Gore case wasn't... (3+ / 0-)

        at all political.

        Thirteen years later and she can't even except a modicum of culpability in the Republican party's little bloodless coup d'état. Even after her decision allowed Bush/Cheney to almost destroy the country and set us on a very dark path to the future.

        If anything, they may have violated the Constitution by interfering in a state's election process. Remember, Florida's Supreme Court ruled the recount could continue and SCOTUS killed it.

        They were so intent on escaping culpability associated with making their [erroneous] decision that they included a clause at the end of the decision saying that this case shouldn't set any kind of precedent for the future.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:15:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The building is a place of business, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, VClib, elmo, Villanova Rhodes

        like the Oval Office or Congressional offices.  You can't protest in any of those spaces.

      •  I suggest you start here (0+ / 0-)

        No constitutional right is absolute. Ever heard the one about yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater? Yeah, the First Amendment doesn't mean you are free to do that...unless there is, in fact, a fire.

        http://law2.umkc.edu/...

    •  The USA absofuckinglutely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, FG, markthshark

      is NOT a Police State, and I was roundly criticised by someone with a UID of 699 000+ for saying so, just the other day.

      But then I am a Socialist and shouldn't even be posting here ... or so I was told.

      There are those among us who will not believe that which is before their eyes. They haven't heard the poem that begins:

      First they came for the guy wearing the "Occupy" jacket,
      But I did nothing because I have no such jacket!

      --

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:44:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me just clarify (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        that I was saying that the USA IS a de jure Police State

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:45:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Du Jour* (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          and I completely disagree, unless your standard is 'I don't like how authority is exercised in this situation.'

          I need to add 'police state' to my language diary and republish, methinks.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:51:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for your cooperation and support. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, markthshark

            - The Plutocracy

            When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

            by Words In Action on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:57:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't troll people who disagree with you. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster, coffeetalk

              This is at least the 2nd unsubstantive post of this type that you've made in the commentary.

              I see what you did there.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:01:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Look in the mirror. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                twigg

                You have splattered this comment board with casual attacks of those with whom you disagree...

                When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

                by Words In Action on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:08:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  The Plutocracy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markthshark, Words In Action

              keep winning this argument because freedom.

              Americans, even liberal Americans are still unwilling to accept that the all-out assault on the Bill of Rights, especially the 1st and 4th Amendments, the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay .... Exyraordinary rendition, and torture!

              Torture, for fuck's sake! Who, twenty years ago would have been believed if they had suggested that the US government would engage in torture?

              These are not the behaviours of anything other than totalitarian government, even to the point that two Presidents wishing to close Guantanamo cannot get it done.

              This example might be "just a jacket" ... Yet the DoJ apparently pointed to the guy being lucky that is all he was charged with.

              There is a sickness here, and it is growing.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:43:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think I now understand what the confusion is (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                twigg, Catte Nappe, Smoh, Villanova Rhodes

                You and others here are reacting as though the action was taken against the particular message on the shirt. It wasn't. The dress code is content neutral, as it needs to be under the First Amendment.

                Try going into the Supreme Court with a shirt that reads "Power to the 1 percent!" or "The Rich are Over Taxed!" "All Hail Ayn Rand!" or whatever other similar message you can conjecture.  You'll get arrested just as readily with that shirt if you refuse to either cover it up or leave.

                •  I understood that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JamesGG

                  Does it not occur to you as a bit odd that the SCOTUS declared the entire building a "free speech free" zone?

                  I understand that signs, placards, chanting, etc, would be disruptive, but clothing? Worse, clothing with no other signs of "assembly".

                  What if I wore a T-Shirt that simply said "Life" on it? How big can the font be, who decides?

                  When does an inactive message become speech that is proscribed?

                  These are matters that should be given some sunlight.

                  Why does the Justice Department think it can respond by suggesting that they could have thrown the book at this guy? What is in the book, and who wrote it?

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  Who is twigg?

                  by twigg on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:56:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So imagine the alternative. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    twigg, Smoh, Villanova Rhodes

                    Imagine if they did allow clothing with messaging on political or social issues—and no other signs, chants, etc.—within the Supreme Court building.

                    There isn't an ounce of doubt in my mind that the day after that policy change was announced, the Supreme Court building would be filled with as many people as they allowed in, and that 90% of them would be wearing some kind of anti-abortion messaging, whether a picture of a dead fetus or a giant "Choose Life" t-shirt like the members of Wham! used to wear.

                    And that would make the historical exhibits and the hall itself (when the court isn't in session)—which, to my mind, are valuable things for tourists to see, given that they illustrate our nation's history and our important civic and governmental institutions—all but inaccessible to the general public.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:35:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe, maybe not (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JamesGG

                      because those people would clearly be assembling with a common cause.

                      All I am saying here is that speech should always trend towards "free", unless there are specific cases where demonstrable harm might be caused.

                      I think that in this case they went too far, and that the DoJ response was atrocious. We should worry about that however trivial the apparent incident simply because the whole reason the constitution was written was because the Founders recognised that a government of men will have an unhealthy tendency to drift towards authoritarian.

                      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                      Who is twigg?

                      by twigg on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:04:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree that the DoJ response was atrocious. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Catte Nappe, Smoh, twigg

                        I think the appropriate response would have been for the Capitol Police to escort him from the building and tell him he couldn't reenter until he did so with that jacket removed, inside out, or covered up.

                        At worst, if he caused a disturbance in being removed or refused to leave, I'd say just give him a $50 fine and bar him from reentering.

                        The DoJ's "you're lucky you didn't get more" seems to me an unnecessary provocation and an extreme overreaction.

                        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                        by JamesGG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:35:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  What's atrocious about dropping the charge? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          twigg

                          The DOJ didn't pursue the charge against him. They're responding to his claim that he wants a million bucks. All they're saying is he could have been charged under the Display Clause -- which is clearly true from the facts described here -- but wasn't (implied: "so STFU"). It appears to be buttressing their defense of the officers' probable cause.

                          The DOJ wasn't involved in the arrest -- it was the SCOTUS police, who do this every day of the week. And yeah, they've got a lot of experience with the anti-abortion folks and want no part of expanding their access. My guess is they were bemused by Occupy, but not particularly concerned. Even on that vaunted Nationwide Day of Action, Occupy only managed to scrape up a couple of dozen protesters, but the "life" crowd can and would deliver all the bodies they were allowed to cram in, for as long as allowed, and disrupting as much as allowed. They've got decades on Occupy, and the SCOTUS cops aren't going to risk upsetting that balance by giving another group a pass.

                  •  Consider (0+ / 0-)

                    if you take the position that words printed on a shirt are not speech within the meaning of the First Amendment, then you also open the door to criminalizing wearing a shirt with the message "Fuck the Draft""

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    We don't want that, do we?

                    The chambers of the Supreme Court are not a public forum. The banning of speech there is a reasonable "time, place and manner" restriction of First Amendment rights. No right is absolute.

      •  If the USA were a police state (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan

        The entire DKos usership would be buried under a wall somewhere by now.

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