Skip to main content

View Diary: Getting It: Interstate Commerce & the New Deal (290 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  There's no recognised privacy right (none)
    not to hear a message on a public sidewalk, unless it's the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic. Goofy.
    •  aoeu (none)
      How does right of way play into it?  Aren't protestors who block paths infringing on that?

      no haikus now,
      join your local democratic party.
      There are fights in 2005 coming up.

      by TealVeal on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 01:28:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obstructing sidewalk statutes (none)
        are Constitutional, so long as they make no reference to the contentr of speech in which one is engaging. This does not preclude use of the sidewalk as a forum.

        In a labor context, courts permitted regulations requiring pickets to keep moving, but guaranteeing of the sidewalk.

        There's also a Supreme Court case, ironically from the sidewalk adjacent to their own Courthouse, which holds that when the publicly owned sidewalk forms a common right of way with adjacent privately owned walkway, the whole is treated as a public forum.

        None of this allows you to fully block the right of way.

        This principle is key to my pending case from the Octrober Kerry rally in Madison. The campaign had a permit for the Street. The permit had no provision authorising the blockage of the sidewalk, and the ordinance covering Street Use Permits states that "normal pedestrian traffic" should be maintained. I, and my "Grow Hemp, Save Farms" sign are normal pedestrian traffic on West Washington Avenue.

        •  aoeu (none)
          Ok, so the abortion protestors were not allowed to completely block the sidewalk even before the laws were enacted?  Couldn't they be prosecuted for verbal harassment for hurling invective at the women?

          It seems like (based on my limited knowledge) there wasn't really a need to pass the laws against protesting X number of feet from a clinic.

          no haikus now,
          join your local democratic party.
          There are fights in 2005 coming up.

          by TealVeal on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 02:58:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Invectives and the law (none)
            Invextives may be hurled, but they're speech, not assault. Hurled quite a few invectives in my day, and been occasionally arrested for it, but those cases all resulted in acquittal.

            When I hurled a few at Republican Delegates in  last summer as they waited to get into bars, the New York Police, at first taken aback, quickly realized I was within my rights.

            I'm working on some good ones for the attendees at the "Inaugural" Balls next month.

            •  aoeu (none)
              Hm, I thought assualt was verbal and battery was physical, I must be wrong.

              no haikus now,
              join your local democratic party.
              There are fights in 2005 coming up.

              by TealVeal on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 03:37:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a matter of degree (none)
                Assault is technically any threat (verbal or physical) that puts someone in reasonable fear of imminent harm.  Battery requires a touching.  The law prior to the abortion-clinic-protest cases was neutral in purpose; the government could regulate time, place, and manner of speech so long as these regulations remained viewpoint neutral.  But to say that the space in front of abortion clinics gets special recognition such that speech can be more limited there than elsewhere was a dramatic break from established 1st Amendment law.  The irony (for me at least since I'm pro-choice) is that it's exactly the right result.  The Justices just came to it through dubious legal analysis.

                "The Red Sox have won baseball's world championship. Can you believe it?!" -- Joe Castiglione

                by PADC on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 04:32:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (none)
              ah yes, assault is the threat to attack.  Assuming dictionary.law.com is correct.

              no haikus now,
              join your local democratic party.
              There are fights in 2005 coming up.

              by TealVeal on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 03:38:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Depends on the State. (none)
                Statutory definintions, and caselaw vary.

                Piethrowing, for instance, is only disorderly conduct in Wisconsin and Ohio, (at least as of 1977 when my pal Steve Conliff was acquitted by a jury after pieing Governor Jim Rhodes of Kent State fame,) since there's neither threat nor intent to injure, and there's no seperate battery offence.

                 In New York, California, and in Federal jurisprudence, any battery is deemed an assault.

                I was on the wrong side of the case that set the Federal precedent. After spitting in the eye of Senator Henry "Scoop Jackson in 1976, I served 15 days as the only person ever convicted under the Congressional Assassination, Kidnapping, and Assault Act, at the time under a Misdemeanor Assault provision.

                Today, any violation of the aforementioned statute is defined as a Terrorist Offence under an obscure provision of the Patriot Act, and carries a penalty of life in prison. I kid you not.

                •  I do hope (none)
                  that the Eighth Amendment would bar a life sentence for spitting in someone's eye.  Especially a politician's.

                  Join the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy: www.acslaw.org

                  by yella dawg dem on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 01:35:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site