A few years ago, I made an issues ad criticizing then State Representative Richard Morgan. Of course, Richard didn’t like being criticized any more than anyone else – so he filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections claiming the group airing the ad was violating state elections law and to make a long story short we all ended up in Federal Court – where a panel of judges decided the group had every right to run it’s ads under the First Amendment. Ever since, when I read that the ACLU is fighting a lawsuit to protect someone’s freedom of speech I feel a twinge of empathy.
But, sometimes, what the ACLU calls freedom of speech just makes it look silly. Here’s an example: The ACLU has filed a brief in Senator Larry Craig’s case, saying Craig’s foot-tapping and hand gestures beneath a stall divider in a Minneapolis men’s room were a type of free speech protected by the First Amendment – so, Craig’s conviction should be overturned.
Now suppose Craig had just said out loud to the undercover policeman sitting in the next stall, Let’s have sex? Only someone living in cloud-coo-coo-land would argue he was simply exercising his First Amendment Rights – rather than committing a crime. But that’s what the ACLU – shredding what remains of its tattered credibility – is arguing with a straight face in a Minnesota Court.
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