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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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  •  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

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    •  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

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      •  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

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        •  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

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          •  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

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            •  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

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              •  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

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                •  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

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                  •  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

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