Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Limits of Free Speech

Where's the ACLU? The free speech that has been banned is offensive, no question, but doesn't actually cross the line into a direct threat or incitement to violence (although I can see how it might be read that way). From November 9, 2007 Associated Press:
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge ordered an anti-abortion activist to remove Web site postings that authorities said exhorted readers to kill an abortion provider by shooting her in the head.

District Court Judge Thomas Golden granted an injunction Thursday seeking the removal of postings on Web pages maintained by John Dunkle. The injunction, sought by prosecutors in August, also bans him from publishing similar messages containing names, addresses or photographs of health clinic staff members.

Prosecutors said one posting targeted a former clinician for the Philadelphia Women's Center, and that she later stopped providing reproductive health services because she feared for her life.

Dunkle, of Reading, said Thursday that the postings had been removed.

"They're down now," said Dunkle, who represented himself. "I won't put up language that (the judge) has told me not to put up."

Authorities said the postings violate the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

One posting, which featured the provider's name, photo and address, stated that "while it does not sound good to say go shoot her between the eyes, it sounds even worse to say let her alone."
There's no question in my mind that something like this is outside of the protections of the First Amendment. But then again, so are the North American Man-Boy Love Association's publications that tell adult men how to have sex with little boys and get away with it--and yet the ACLU is defending NAMBLA in a civil suit filed by the parents of a child who was raped and murdered by a NAMBLA member.

As with so many matters, the ACLU's ahistorical understanding of the First Amendment is really just an exercise in seeing what they can do to help adults get access to minors for sex.

No comments:

Post a Comment