2006/04/19

Like a Poll Tax Only For Free Speech

Here's a bit of political chicanery that won't make it past the first court challenge. In Lee County, Florida commissioners are planning to discuss billing protesters for the costs incurred in a recent 75000 person march through Ft. Myers.

This, of course, is nonsense. As with poll taxes, you can't charge people for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights--in this case the right to peaceably assemble. And with the ACLU already promising to step in with a challenge, one wonders why the county would even bother. Could it be that the commissioners would like to put the chill on any further gatherings of uppity citizens? Even if the whole thing gets dropped, the rumors will get around and pretty soon people who might take to the streets may hesitate because they won't want to pay the "free-speech tax". Forget the fact that it doesn't really exist.

4 Comments:

Hmmm...I wonder if this would still be the case if the protest wasn't in support of a liberalish idea.
exactly mike!
Mike...good question. Wondered that myself.
Whatever we can do to limit democracy should be done. Limit it on the internet, limit it in the media, limit it on Capitol Hill. If we could get away with it, we shouldn't reauthorize the voting rights act. Look what has become of this country, letting all those people vote. If they couldn't vote, we wouldn't even have to speak lip-service to Katrina victims. Of course, all liberal protesters should be charged handsomely for the right to march. In so doing, we can probably eliminate the need for any protest marches at all. Makes sense to me.

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