posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 10:02 AM
Score one for the good guys (and kids, in this case)! Indiana won't be happy with this, but Indiana can stand to live with some bad news. That
state's Government dishes it out to it's residents on a regular enough basis, IMO. This time, they got it dished TO them. Bon appétit!
Supervisors of an Indiana memorial cannot enforce a permit requirement that brought about the ejection of a protesting veteran and his young son,
the 7th Circuit ruled.
The 7th Circuit covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin for where it's jurisdiction is directly applicable. That can matter for things like this.
Eric Smith and his 10-year-old son were expelled from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis for not
getting a permit before protesting a proposed United Nations arms treaty. The Indiana War Memorials Commission supervises the monuments and others
throughout the city. A commission policy requires "even small groups" to obtain a permit before gathering on commission properties.
A permit? to protest? Well..I never! (Actually..I did, with Occupy, for having seen this and it's why I share this with real glee. They got it shoved
Restrictions on speech in public places are allowed only if they meet specific criteria.
The 14-page opinion says "regulations that restrict speech do not comport with the First Amendment unless they are (1) content-neutral, (2)
narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and (3) leave open ample alternative channels of communication."
The story goes on to specify what those points mean but point 1 seems the most ...questionable, at least without more explanation. According to the
article, to qualify as content neutral requires the permit issuing process be handled by more than the discretion of one person. The obvious reason
being, one person can easily let bias and personal issues enter the permit process, intentionally or not. Fail on that point with Indiana.
As usual for the source, it's a lengthy article with the normal complexity which court decisions bring. However, the clarity it gives is meaningful
and important, in my view. They threw out a veteran and his boy for disagreeing in public, basically, and got it thrown back in their face for doing
Some days, that is it's own happy ending, isn't it?