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Speech Resrictions at California Mall Overturned

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posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:03 PM
Well, I don't exactly know how to feel about this one.

On the one hand the speech code implemented by this mall seems incredibly invasive and needed to be stopped. On the other hand, where does the judge get the authority to enforce the 1st Amentment upon a private business?

Shopping mall's speech restrictions torpedoed
Appeals court affirms right 'to engage in casual conversations'

A court decision written by a candidate for chief justice of the California Supreme Court has torpedoed rules established by a shopping mall to regulate casual conversations among customers.

The [mall's] rules treat all applicants for noncommercial expressive activity the same way, but the rules are not content neutral because they prohibit or restrict speech unrelated to the mall's interests while permitting speech that is related to the mall's interest. The rules are content based," said the opinion from Associate Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.


Apparently casual conversations not related to shopping and spending money at this mall can get you arrested by mall security.

The case went to court over a preacher who struck up a religious conversation with a mall patron. A nearby mall employee was offended and called mall security who arrested the preacher. Some common sense prevailed and while charges were pressed against the preacher, they were later dropped by prosecutors but, he filed suit against the mall anyway.

You would think that it wouldn't be necessary for the courts to intervene in order to get this mall policy stopped. If I knew that striking up a conversation with a friend at the mall about anything not having to do with spending money at the mall could get me arrested, I simply wouldn't shop there.

Who the heck would shop someplace where you could get arrested for talking with your friends?

The mall would lose money from all of the customers avoiding their draconian policies and they would be forced to change.

Maybe Californians don't have the common sense of the rest of the country and feel that shopping at the mall is more important than free speech?

[edit on 8/14/10 by FortAnthem]

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:31 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Even so much as touching the preacher for any reason is assault. Mall security can't touch people without their permission, period. To conduct a citizens arrest, someone must be in the process of committing a felony crime.

Even most loss prevention departments have a policy where they won't touch someone in the process of committing an actual felony crime. In most cases if any employee physically restrains a law-breaking patron, their employer will strongly consider firing them.

So there is no way the mall can arrest someone because they don't like the conversation they are having... that is just a quick way to get sued for at least tens of thousands of dollars, if not $100k+.

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:37 PM
the mall is probably just trying to combat loud, cussing teenagers and proselytizing on mall grounds that might bother consumers.

Looks like though, they could have approached the whole thing another way.

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:38 PM
reply to post by truthquest

Actually, I've worked in mall security before (hangs head in shame) and we were permitted to detain and handcuff shoplifters after undergoing the proper training. We also could detain tresspassers, usually people who had been caught shoplifting previously and were warned not to come back.

We were allowed to do this under the citizen's arrest statutes in Pa.

I guess the amount of force a guard can use is dependent upon how much liability their employer is willing to accept and I'm sure laws differ from state to state.

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:42 PM
These stories always amuse me as much, or moreso than they trouble me. Just imagine the logistics involved with trying to arrest, prosecute, and jail every single human being who walked into that mall and had something more to say than "Oh my God, cute shoes" as they passed a store.

If I lived in California still I think I'd be tempted to go to this mall just so that I could walk around and mutter to myself just to see how it would all play out. I'd happily join the inevitable class action lawsuit that would or will follow any implimentation of this law.

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 08:58 PM

Pacific Justice said that under the mall's rules, shoppers are not allowed to engage in conversations about potentially controversial topics such as religion or politics unless they already know the person they are talking to. Another mall rule bans the wearing of any clothing with religious or political messages

So, just to translate for the people who didn't bother to read the article, this doesn't mean that customers can only talk about spending money or just means you can't try to convert or argue with someone about a controversial subject while they're trying to shop. Although this is a blatant violation of the first amendment, i can see how this would make the mall atmosphere more pleasant.

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