Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's not really a 1st/14th Amendment free speech question but...

it still stinks.

Police arrest anti-war protester, 80, at mall

An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.

It isn't really a constitutional issue (the 1st Amendment applies to the feds, 14th to the states, as an aside) because private property owners have the right to manage their premises far beyond what the police can do in public, but it is still sad.



jimbow8 said...

Yet it is another reason why not everything should be owned by the private sector, as the fundamentalist conservatives would like. Then there wouldn't have to be any such thing as Free Speech.

This also makes me hate malls all that much more.

drmagoo said...

My understanding was that the courts had ruled that state and local governments also had to abide by the first amendment (the feds can't hide behind the local cops), but I could be wrong. Mall cops could throw him out, but not real police funded with public dollars.

Peter said...

The standards are the same, the precedents are the same, Doc--with the exception of the 2nd and parts of 8th, the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply against the states. Any remedy is still technically under the 14th, however, for state/municipal actions.

Given that the private property owner could, within some restrictions, toss him, and he refused to go, they could have the ciops arrest him for trespassing, disorderly contact, etc.