“Free speech zones”
Miss Monica emails:
First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In regards to the popular repressive tactic, practiced by both Republicans and Democrats, of sequestering protestors in “free speech zones”:
The purpose of the latter part of the first amendment is to allow “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Implied by this statement is that the Government is required to hear the petition. The amendment would be meaningless and nonsensical, otherwise.
There is nothing in the constitution, bill of rights, or first amendment that provides for the right of the Government to ignore the petition of the people. So how can putting protestors in fortified holding pens, sometimes miles away from the very government officials they are assembling to petition (and for all effective purposes “out of sight, out of mind” of both the Government and the press) be considered constitutional?
I would be very interested in finding out if any of the ACLU lawsuits address this issue.