Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Heckler's Veto Wins In Dearborn

Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post:
The society we live in stems from the incentives we create. Incentives for violent speech suppression mean more violent speech suppression. That, I think, will be the consequence of the Sixth Circuit panel decision, if it is not reversed by the en banc Sixth Circuit or by the Supreme Court.
Some Christian proselytizers demonstrated in what seems to have been a fairly obnoxious manner at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, some Arabs responded with violence.

The court upheld the police cracking down, not on the violent people, but on the proselytizers. Thus, the heckler's veto, in which lawful free speech is shut down by criminal violence, violence rewarded by the government itself shutting down the protected speech.

The minority opinion is worth reading.

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