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Monday, April 25, 2011

Update

The ACLU of Michigan has filed a brief on behalf of Terry Jones:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has weighed in on the Terry Jones saga, filing a brief supporting the controversial pastor's right to protest this afternoon in front of a mosque.  
In the eight-page brief to the 19th District Court, the ACLU argued that efforts to make Jones pay a peace bond to protest outside the Islamic Center of America constitute prior restraint of his rights to free speech and assembly.  
"The ACLU vehemently disagrees with the content of Pastor Jones' speech, but we feel equally strongly that if the First Amendment is tohave any meaning, it must mean that the government cannot suppress free speech because it, or anyone else, disagrees with that speech," ACLU Staff Attorney Jessie Rossman told The Detroit News today. "While we are not representing Pastor Jones, we filed this friend of court brief to help provide additional analysis with respect to the critical constitutional issues at stake here." . . .   
The ACLU's brief argued that the government cannot suppress speech by making Jones pay a bond based on the cost of police services necessary for anticipated actions of others, calling it an "unconstitutional prior restraint of free speech." The group also cites a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that said it's unconstitutional to have a group bear the cost of police protection due to the content of their message.
Radley Balko comments "Count on this to be forgotten next time a conservative uses the they-never-help-out-Christians version of the tired 'Where’s the ACLU?' mantra."

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