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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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  •  You need to do a little more looking at (4+ / 0-)
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    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.  

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