Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

BSU to change campus event policies that raised 1st Amendment issues

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations. The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year. University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security. The university also on Tuesday said it will suspend five other rules where enforcement is dependent on subjective discretion, such as allowing exceptions for sound amplification. The rules will be suspended until the university finishes revising them.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi.

Federal judge rules Idaho’s 7-day limit on public protests violates U.S. Constitution

A federal judge has rejected some rules governing protests on Idaho property surrounding the Capitol in Boise, concluding that neither a seven-day limit on rallies nor allowing state officials discretion to waive restrictions for some groups but not others meets constitutional free-speech muster, the AP reports; the case was prompted by “Occupy Boise” protests the year before last. In a 39-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled that a seven-day limit on protests, enacted by the state in response to the Occupy encampment across from the state Capitol, ran afoul of free-speech protections. Click below for the full AP report.

Freedom of Speech or Something Else?

Photo from weblogs.newsday.com

I came across an interesting topic in government class today, and since it has the potential to become controversial I just knew I had to post it (okay, I wanted to see what your responses were to it as well).

The big topic? Should the burning or desecration of the US flag be illegal? Arguments from both sides can be very convincing.

Those against the idea of making it against the law to desecrate the law argue that, although it is deplorable, it is an act of political speech and that outlawing it would be against the first amendment and would make us no better than countries like China and Cuba, which do not allow citizens to speak out at all. One woman (on the website listed below) says that the law gives Congress too much power: where does the law draw the line? At something you fly from a flag pole, at a flag on a tee shirt? Underwear?

Those supporting making flag desecration illegal say that the flag is a symbol of our country, something that millions of men and women have died fighting for, and that the desecration of it is a dishonor to them and a threat to America.

Click here for the website I was on. It’s very informational and offers great arguments for both sides. (Note: it is the first link, labelled “How a Member Decides to Vote”, and it is interactive). 

Should desecration of the flag fall under freedom of speech, or should it be illegal?