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Thread: Trump Rallies and the misunderstood First Amendment

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Trump Rallies and the misunderstood First Amendment

    I just spent an inordinate amount of time listening to talk radio and watching cable news shows opine, incorrectly, on the First Amendment (whilst visiting with an under-the-weather relative). So knowing the vast reach of our Forum, I am going to post here and straighten this whole thing out once and for all (Or at least get it off my chest).
    OK-The First Amendment simply says that CONGRESS shall make no law abridging the right to free speech. After 2+ centuries of Constitutional amendments (like the 14th) and Supreme Court interpretations, the First Amendment is now understood to say the GOVERNMENT shall make no law abridging free speech.
    Is Donald Trump Congress or the government? Of course not. THERFORE, he is free to impose whatever rules he wants at his rally's (dress code, hand salute, signs, whatever he wants-it's his friggin event, he gets to make the rules). And, the citizens who dont care for what he is saying have NO constitutional right to disrupt his rally or to interfere with his right to conduct it however he wants to.
    End of discussion.
    IF protesters want to protest, they must so outside the rally venue.
    IF the talking heads' interpretation of free speech were right, then anyone could interfere with any group's efforts to assemble and express their thoughts, as loudly and inappropriately as they want. In other words: dont like the Catholic religion, go into their service every Sunday and disrupt it, dont like a lecture being given on a nearby campus, attend and yell until it shuts down.
    So all the First Amendment means is, for instance, that no government agency can establish standards defining what we are allowed to say. The First Amendment has a very, very, very limited scope and application. Which is, of course, totally consistent with the Framers' belief that people would do best with as little government control of their speech and thoughts as possible.
    I am no fan of the Donald or his rabble-rousing speeches. I am just saying that the First Amendment gives me zero authority to enter his rally and to disrupt it, or even to enter wearing a Rubio T-shirt or to hold up a Cruz sign inside the rally.
    I feel better aleady-And I know that, since this is a private (Non-government) Forum, with its own rules, the moderators can delete this post and I will have suffered no violation of my First Amendment rights.
    Last edited by Kitcat; 03-12-2016 at 01:40 PM.
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