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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:58 PM
Original message
ACLU files suit backing Christian protester
ACLU files suit backing Christian protester



Saturday, October 28, 2006 2:46 AM CDT

NATCHITOCHES, La. - The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of a man who was chased away from the front of a Wal-Mart store when he tried to protest what he believes is the company's stand on gays.

A Natchitoches police officer told Edwin Crayton to leave on or about Oct. 4 after he stood in front of Wal-Mart with a protest sign that read, "Christians: Wal-Mart Supports Gay Lifestyles And Marriage. Don't Shop There," according to a news release from the ACLU.

Crayton was told he could not return until he obtained permits from the police and the mayor, said Joe Cook, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.

"Government violates the principles in the First Amendment when it puts an over-broad permit scheme in place to restrain free speech in a public place," Cook said. "The sweep of the ordinance is so wide that it could encompass a chance meeting on the street corner by two strangers." ...

http://www.pbcommercial.com/articles/2006/10/28/ap-state-ar/d8l18u7o1.txt


Personally, it sounds to me like this guy's a nutcase, but I'm glad the ACLU is sticking up for him: the right to express opinions in public is always under attack and is saved only by fighting back ...
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's what you gotta like about the ACLU. They'll take on cases that will
piss off ANYONE (including me), but they do it because of their single-minded determination to protect the Constitution, no matter WHO it bothers.

Kind of like attorneys who act as public defenders. They may not like (in fact generally don't like) the scumbuckets they are assigned to defend, but they do it anyway, out of a loyalty to our Constitution.

I salute them, and I salute the ACLU.


Redstone
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are correct. nt
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Absolutely.
It's funny how individuals and groups that criticize the ACLU will run to them for help when it's their rights that are being violated. Rush Limbaugh, for example.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. The ACLU stands up for so many people who won't stand up for them
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:16 PM by bluestateguy
The ACLU stands up for people and groups that if they had their way (the KKK, Limabaugh, Phelps, etc.) all of the ACLUers would be jailed for treason.

Furthermore, these nutjobs never, ever, give the ACLU any credit for this at all. They just take their services and continue bashing the ACLU.

Why the ACLU does this is beyond me. Aren't there right wing legal groups that would be more than happy to take up the cause of the KKK, Limbaugh and "persecuted" Christian zealots?
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. There may be rightwing legal groups, but there's only 1 Constitution. . .
and its defense should be the concern of us all.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. And isn't that nice
I don't think I have ever lost sleep over Fred Phelps' constitutional rights being lost, or Limbaugh's or the KKK. Not a wink. Now I'm sure there are plenty of other groups that will rise to the task of defending them, and by all means, they can go ahead and do it, but none of our team's resources should be used to that endeavor.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I'd suggest you read more about the ACLU's mission. . .
you'll find they are not our team, but play instead solely for Constitutional rights, irrespective of their clients politics.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. They do it because that's their mission.
They protect first amendment rights. Popular speech usually doesn't need protection, so they usually find themselves fighting for someone's right to express unpopular opinions. Who those opinions are unpopular with isn't relevant.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. Good job. I've been an ACLU member for many years. Wish they would support RKBA but I'll remain
a loyal member and contributor in spite of their position not to support the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
10. They'll probably lose.
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 09:15 PM by China_cat
When WalMart builds, they buy the land that even the parking lot sits on. It's considered private property for purposes of WalMart saying who can and can't use it. They can (and have) charge protesters with trespassing. And that's probably how they'll defend themselves in this case.

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Boo Boo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. They're not suing WalMart.
The man was arrested for not having a permit. In the linked article, it says that the ACLU has already won a similar case. They are claiming that the permit required by the county is unconstitutional.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I remember a time when one didn't lose free speech rights on private property
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. That's the thing about free speech
having that right doesn't guarantee you an audience. If it did, any proselytizer could walk into your home, preach anything at you and you could do nothing to stop him/her.

I don't care what you say, I just don't have to give you the platform from which to say it.

It's also what allows the mods here the right to tombstone people for saying things that are too over the top.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Well, your theory guarantees that increased corporate ownership of America ..
.. will continue to reduce free speech options.

The wingnut dream, of a country in which essentially everything (including roads and parks) is privately owned, would, on your theory, eliminate free speech rights for everyone except the corporate owners.

I have no problem with the idea that homeowners and small business owners can limit who speaks or leaflets on their property. But on larger corporate properties, such as shopping malls, which serve as public spaces, people in my view have the right to speak and leaflet. On your theory, in our society, where there is rather little space actually owned by the public, there are essentially no real opportunities for people to speak freely and be heard.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. It isn't my theory
it's the law. And corporations are now recognized as 'individuals'. Have been since the Reagan era. Along with the abolition of the fairness doctrine.

This suit will NOT be tried on free speech. It will be tried on property rights and trespassing and the ACLU will be told they have no standing. Following is one of the cases that has helped decide this. It was eventually submitted to and turned down by SCOTUS

Court in South Carolina Upholds Jailing of Loud Street Preachers (New York Times...requires registration and subscription for full article)
By RONALD SMOTHERS, June 16, 1993

The South Carolina Supreme Court today narrowly upheld the constitutionality of a local ordinance under which nearly 50 street preachers were jailed last May for shouting their sermons and accosting people. In a 3-to-2 decision the state's highest court ruled that in regulating the time, place and manner of the downtown preaching, the coastal city of Beaufort had not abridged the preachers' right of free speech.



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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. As I said, I remember a time when one didn't lose free speech rights on private property

One loses it, of course, on the legal theory you're pushing. The law naturally changes with time, according to whatever legal theories hold sway.

Reading the original link suggests this case, however, is not about private property but about a local speech permit ordinance.

And the Beaufort case that you cite was not about private property rights, either: it was about a noise ordinance:

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
ASQUITH v CITY OF BEAUFORT
Argued: December 5, 1996
Decided: March 19, 1998
... The ordinance at issue here, Beaufort City Code 9-1008(a), in its operative part, provides that: It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully disturb any neighborhood or business in the City by making or continu- ing loud and unseemly noises .... That ordinance had been contested prior to the decision of the dis- trict court in this case in City of Beaufort v. Baker , 432 S.E. 2d 470 (S.C. 1993), and was held to be valid ... http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&case=/data2/circs/4th/952956p.html

Incidently, you're also wrong about when corporations were first recognized as 'persons': the case law originates in the second half of the nineteenth century, another time in our history of unchecked corporate power.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. A noise ordinance that made no difference
except to the owners of the (private) property. The preachers sued as a violation of first amendment rights, the store owners countered with both trespassing and THEN got the city council to pass the noise ordinance that finally won it for them.

I don't like it either. But the ACLU will lose when WalMart defends itself on the issue of trespass.

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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
11. Just for fun - I wondered what the freeps were saying...........
To: little jeremiah

****** MARK MY WORDS, AND REMEMBER YOU HEARD IT HERE *****

THEY ARE TRYING TO GIVE THE ACLU LOVING DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SOME AMMUNITION TO USE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE CHANGES TO 42 USC 1988. THE LAW THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE AWARDED ATTORNEY'S FEES!

THEY ARE WORKING OVERTIME TO GIVE PROPAGANDA TALKING POINTS TO THE DEMOCRAT MEDIA ABOUT HOW GREAT THE ACLU IS FOR DEFENDING CHRISTIANS!

THIS IS A SCAM...

EVEN SATAN, SPEAKING THROUGH THE APOSTLE PETER TRIED TO CONVINCE HIM *NOT* TO GO TO THE CROSS. TO WHICH JESUS REBUKED PETER AND SAID TO HIM "GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN...!!!"


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1727274/posts#comment

Seriously, how did this country end up with so many looney toons.
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starchild_12000 Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
19. as much as i don't like walmart
I'm glad they're standing their ground. don't like that they're marketing to the glbt community? don't shop there.
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