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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Obama Signs H.R. 347 Into Law: Free Speech=Trespassing

Of course our wise overlords are quick to reassure us such laws are merely precautionary measures in the interest of safety. But have you ever noticed the government's harshest and most restrictive laws regarding "safety" are always in the interests of protecting them from grieved citizens?

The new bill modifies a 1971 law that restricted entering or blocking public areas cordoned off by the Secret Service while a protected individual is passing through, or during major public events like the Super Bowl or party nominating conventions. Violators can face up to a year in jail; if they’re carrying a dangerous weapon, it’s ten.

Of course, it’s probably a good thing that the police can arrest strangers with guns who try to get a little too close to the president. But more recently, this law has been used to shunt protestors at major political events into “free speech zones,” isolated from the crowds—and cameras—that might give their constitutionally-protected demonstrations some heft. Another issue is that the Department of Homeland Security has fairly wide latitude in what areas it can declare off-limits. 

Read the full article here.

Drew Martin,
Blogger, THL

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