Congressman Jim Moran’s August 25, 2009 town hall meeting at South Lakes High School in Reston, VA. is turning out to be a goldmine for commentators… First because of Rep. Moran’s demand to see a constituent’s ID before allowing him to ask a question and Howard Dean’s remarks on tort reform. Now there’s Officer Wesley Cheeks, Jr. confrontation with a protester:
As country lawyer, Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere, explains on his blog, Taxes, Stupidity, and Death… Yes, bystander there are there limitations to the freedom of speech imposed on school grounds. Those limitations, however, are imposed on students, during school hours and at school functions. Not on adults attending non- school functions:
Yes, there are limitations on the freedom of speech imposed legally on school grounds. However, they are imposed on students, during school hours and at school functions. These same restrictions never have been enforced against adults present for non-school functions, and even a leftist judge would have a difficult time trying to impose such restrictions on adults visiting the campus for the purpose of listening and speaking to their duly elected representative. Political Speech is the gold standard of speech when it comes to legal restrictions. The signs would qualify.
As to Officer Cheeks: If you’re going to allow political signs that are just writing, and not ones with pictues and text, prepare to get sued. The only possible reason to single this sign out for disparate treatment would be if it was obscene or pornographic, and even then, if you were dealing with someone who knows more about the law then you obviously do, Officer You-Can’t-Bring-That-Sign-Or-I’ll-Arrest-You-For-Trespassing, they might just let you arrest them and then sue you for violating their civil liberties. Federal section 1983 lawsuits for civil rights violations can be a bitch, and when the other associated charges for false imprisonment, and violations of state law get added, they’ll really cut in to the doughnut budget there, hoss.
Anyway, that said, the sign itself was, well, stupid… That coupled with the snarky little FEMA camp caption and the remarks in video’s description aren’t exactly confidence inspiring either.
Update (Sunday, August 30, 2009): There seems to be some confusion about Officer Cheeks position… He is apparently not a police officer but rather a Fairfax County Public Schools Security Officer… More here…