The First Amendment will become “little more than window-dressing on a store window – pretty to look at but serving little real purpose” unless what opponents describe as a court-created exemption to the Constitution is overturned.
That’s the argument of attorneys John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute and affiliate Jeffrey Light, who are representing a man who was arrested for holding a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
They have filed a petition for rehearing by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Hodge v. Talkin.
The court earlier this year affirmed a ban on expressive activity such as handing out leaflets or carrying a sign on the U.S. Supreme Court plaza, the publicly owned area in front of the steps of the building.
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“If citizens cannot stand out in the open and voice their disapproval of their government, its representatives and its policies without fearing prosecution, then the First Amendment is little more than window-dressing on a store window – pretty to look at but serving little real purpose,” said Whitehead.
For 60 years, the Supreme Court has had a rule “criminalizing expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza.”
The rehearing petition points out the ruling by a three-judge panel conflicts with other decisions addressing similar statutes.
And the petition notes the three judges overruled a district-court decision that struck down the limits, finding the ban to be “repugnant” to the Constitution. The decision also found the restrictions are “unreasonable, substantially overbroad and irreconcilable with the First Amendment.”
Whitehead of the newest request, “Through a series of carefully crafted legislative steps and politically expedient court rulings, government officials have managed to disembowel this fundamental freedom, rendering the First Amendment with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.”
WND has reported as the case progressed, including the earlier three-judge decision.
It was on Jan. 28, 2011, when Harold Hodge stood in the plaza, wearing a 24 inch by 36 inch sign that said “The U.S. Gov. Allows Police To Illegally Murder And Brutalize African Americans And Hispanic People.”
https://www.endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SupremePlaza.jpg 392 610 alphatimes https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png alphatimes2015-10-20 00:00:002018-03-28 16:53:34Stunner! This court doesn’t allow 1st Amendment