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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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  •  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?

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