“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, March 7, 2011

A First Amendment Victory: The Westboro Case

Good news from Washington, D.C., for a change. And a win for limited, Constitutional federal government by a branch of said entity. The Supreme Court upheld freedom of speech with no conditions by an 8-1 decision in the Westboro case.

There's not a lot to add. You can say all you want about the nastiness of the protesters. Call it hate speech if you wish. It doesn't matter.

I recall, in my youth, when a Neo-Nazi group was allowed to march through heavily Jewish Skokie, Illinois. Much was made of their hate speech and actions, but they were given their due, both on grounds of freedom of assembly and speech.

Our system is sufficiently strong to stand the test of hate speech. What would be far worse is for the Supreme Court to begin a descent down the slippery slope of conditioning the right to freedom of speech. From there, it's only a matter of time until administrations simply censor criticism.

It was clearly painful for the family and friends of the Marine whose funeral was the subject of the hate speech, but our nation is stronger for allowing it, rather than prohibiting it.

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