Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Shouting down a speaker violates the speaker's first amendment rights.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Civil Liberties Donate to DU
 
alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 01:03 AM
Original message
Shouting down a speaker violates the speaker's first amendment rights.
After the Muslim students at UC Irvine were convicted of conspiring to disrupt a speech by an Israeli ambassador, I've come to the conclusion that disrupting others' speech violates their 1st amendment rights and therefore cannot reasonably be protected free speech. Now while I normally support the American Civil Liberties Union I am disappointed that its Southern California chapter executive director decided to stand with the people who disrupted the speech: "If allowed to stand, this will undoubtedly intimidate students in Orange County and across the state and discourage them from engaging in any controversial speech or protest for fear of criminal charges." C'mon, that is just plain ridiculous. As I've said in the original DU thread linked, the sensible alternative to shouting down Michael Oren would have been to engage in controversial speech in another venue, as ACLUSC exec dir Hector Villagra said.

Is it not a crime to deprive another person of civil rights? That's the criminal conviction that two of the police officers who beat Rodney King got in federal court. Think about this: if a right-wing astroturf group paid a group of people to attend a Barack Obama speech and shout Obama down with right-wing talking points, would you defend the people's actions, and would that be criminal?
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. That's implying one's speech is more important.
Edited on Tue Sep-27-11 01:21 AM by Tunkamerica
Is the person with the microphone more entitled to speak than the person in the audience? Yeah, "shouting someone down" (or speaking loudly at the same time) is rude and largely ineffective, but to deny the dissenter a right to speak is just as bad.

To your question: not criminal but rude and ineffective.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. +1
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. More entitled to speak in a specific venue? Yes, actually
Free speech has never been an anything anywhere anywhen proposition...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. The G20 protests, wearing the wrong t-shirt at a bush rally, etc..
Were those activities protected speech? They might have interfered with others' speech..

Don't think folks are paying attention to how their positions could be misused by others.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Perhaps we're all interpreting things differently, but the OP specifically says
"shouting down". I take that to mean actions that are designed to make speech impossible - that obliterate the intended speaker's right to be heard. That deserves very little 1A protection or deference IMO, and there's no can of worms being opened by that position. Protests, t-shirts, etc, aren't even in the same ballpark. IOW, there is a significant and important distinction between speech and denial of speech, and courts are able to make that distinction (as the CA Supreme Court did in 1970 when it addressed the law used in Irvine).

As an aside, I think the prosecution in Irvine was highly inappropriate, but not on any 1A grounds. Rather, I think it was a selective prosecution based on viewpoint, and I don't think that what the students did rose to the level of what the SC counted as a true disruption under the law in question...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. If you climb up on a soap box in a public space..
There's no reason I have to be quiet so that you can speak. I can plonk my soap box right next to yours and speak, even if it interferes with yours.

I don't know that I agree with CA's law on many things- this may be another instance (I haven't checked that law yet.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. That's true - but I said "specific venue" in my first post
If a university conference room has been set aside for a speech or an event, then you have no right to drag your soapbox in there, or mount your giant amplifiers to the windowsill, or take other actions intended to annihilate the speech. That could apply outdoors as well, although not in the example you produce.

In other words, there are plenty of situations where one person's speech rights may cause interference with another, but there are other circumstances where that interference may legitimately be disallowed without invoking 1A.

(The CA law in question is PC 403, and the CA SC case that looked at it was in re Kay, 1970).
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. What is determinant would be the 'specific venue'..
If it's a public space, it doesn't matter if it's set aside for a specific event. CA is only one of a couple of spaces that specify that some private property is also a public space- namely shopping malls.

Use of bullhorns or PA systems isn't at issue in this case, though, so that's a bit of a red herring.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. My classroom is in a public building, and it's our campus policy that visitors
are free to come in and observe as long as I leave the door open. Would you argue that any of those visitors has an unfettered 1A right to give a speech during my presentation?

While I agree with you that free speech rights deserve a very high degree of deference and protection, they are not absolute and unlimited - not even in public space. Laws preventing the disruption of others speech are valid and Constitutionally appropriate (the cartoonish notion that your right to swing your hand ends at the tip of my nose comes into play here)...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. If you had your class on the quad, yes..
An auditorium that's open to the public? Iffy.

Nobody is claiming that the right to free speech is unlimited. But a law against 'disruption of speech' -- with other speech -- is a dangerous tool to place into the hands of some future government. It's placing a higher value on the person who speaks first.



Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. Right to be heard?
You have no such right. Just because you're speaking doesn't mean anyone is obligated to listen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I didn't say anyone was required to listen. Rather, there are circumstances where
there is a legally-enforceable obligation not to obliterate a speaker's right to express themselves...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. If you're speaking in a public place....
you must accept that others have every right to speak as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Simply put, that is not universally true. Publicly-owned property or not,
there is no absolute 1A right to eradicate another person's right to speak under any and all circumstances. You and a few others are taking far too binary of a perspective on this.

You cannot generalize from the soapbox in the park where anyone can speak if they choose, or a political rally where heckling and comment is the norm, to a classroom or auditorium on a campus, the council chamber at city hall, or a bunch of other specific venues and contexts where the original speaker is in fact and in law entitled to privilege and protection...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. That's not speech. It's attempting to prevent speech.
If the protesters want to be heard, they can walk outside, or find any other spot in the world to exercise their right to speech.

People forget that "free speech" doesn't mean "guaranteed right to be heard." You can't go out and climb on stage at an awards show and demand your free speech, or go to a local TV station and say they have to give you a live broadcast. You have the right to speak; others have the right to kick you out if you're being disruptive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Agree, I think about this UC Irvine incident
like Muslims entering a synagogue during service and hollering "allahu akbar!"
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Private property v public space..
Assuming that the event at UC Irvine would be considered a 'public space', you have every right to heckle a speaker.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Riftaxe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-11 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
29. Only the silliest idiots would ever make that assumption
probably in the back of a squad car while they are being hauled away.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. can I come to your kids' birthday parties and spout obscenities the whole time? nt
Edited on Tue Sep-27-11 02:42 AM by msongs
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Maybe if it was in a public space, and I had kids.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. If i had said party in a public area
By all means. Of course, then I would exercise my rights and strongly encourage you to get lost.

If you pulled such a thing in a private area, you would be removed with or without your consent.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. +1 n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Kablooie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 03:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. Um, the government doesnt have the right to stop free speech.
Citizens are completely free to compete free speech wise.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. you might want to take a course in basic civics..
the GOVERNMENT, and only the GOVERNMENT can be accused of violating the first amendment for suppressing free speech.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. you might want to see US Code Title 18 Section 241
"This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same)."

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/fed...

Be glad that the US Attorney in Southern California didn't go after the student protesters with THIS statute. I firmly stand by my belief that the protesters deprived Oren of his constitutionally protected free speech rights.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-11 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Didn't see any..
"injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate".. nor were they "in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another" (public space.)

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. i stand corrected and i apologize for my tone
peace.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. Not the same thing.
Making it difficult for your message to be heard because I'm busy shouting a counter-message, is not injury, oppression, threat or intimidation.

Remember, I have rights too and yours are not superior to mine.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-11 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
22. It is a crime...
..for the STATE to deprive you of your civil rights. Private actions by a private person are not the same thing.


You have a right to speak, but not a right to be heard.

You have the right to hold whatever religious beliefs you wish, but no right to expect others to do the same.

You have the right to not incriminate yourself, but its your own damn fault if you open your mouth.

See how that works?

The officers were convicted for what they did to King because they were acting as agents of the state. Had they been private individuals, the charge could never be brought.

Yes, I would defend a bunch of right-wingers shouting down Obama just as I would defend a group of left-wingers shouting down {insert right-wing devil of choice here}.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Jul 30th 2014, 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Civil Liberties Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC