Thursday, April 12, 2007

Neo Nazi group's planned march - update

Cincinnati City Council passes ordinance in effort to affect march.

Well that was quick! Part of the article says that groups that use 'fighting words' (that's kind of generalized) will have to pay for their own protection. I wonder how this will fly with state and national supreme courts? I am glad to hear that this group can't expect to spread hateful propaganda on taxpayer dollars, but I do wonder how they are protected by the first amendment? It's also stunning to me that a city council was able to band together so well and get an ordinance passed so quickly.
I do know my husband would not be happy at all to be assigned to protect a hate group. Especially given Cincinnati's past racial tension, I can't imagine that this march will end very well. Naturally, that's the reaction the group is looking for.



Brent said...

While I certainly believe in freedom of speech, I don't believe in freedom of hate. These groups violate the laws of disorderly conduct, spewing forth speech that incites others to violence. I would be ashamed to protect these folks.

Brandon said...

Going by Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, I would say that the ordinance is going to stand. The Supreme Court held that "insulting or 'fighting words', those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" are among the "well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech [which] the prevention and punishment of...have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem." I would say that the neo-Nazi's speech easily meets the standards of fighting words.