Court upholds cross-burning ban

Avatar for lmanney
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Court upholds cross-burning ban
3
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 11:11am
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 2:35pm
I tend to agree with Thomas in that this law adds a layer of redundancy to existing instruments already accessible at the State level. It also risks too broad application and interpretation.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 5:57pm
A bad decision which unnecessarily tramples on the first amendment. What the Court is saying is that a certain form of speech can be criminalized by a state because it makes certain citizens of that state or other states uncomfortable. The rights of free speech guaranteed by the first amendment are not predicated on whether or not some people are comfortable with the exercise of those rights.

Further there are other grounds by which cross burning can be prohibited without offending the first amendment. Cross burners can be prosecuted if they happen to trespass on private property. They can be prosecuted for violating bans on outdoor burning. There are likely other ways in which the activity can be restricted without violating the first amendment.

As for people feeling intimidated by cross burning I don't doubt they are but the answer is not to criminalize the exercise of free speech but to confront the cross burners with more speech and to educate society in general and to mitigate and change the sort of attitudes existing in much of (white) society which give aid and comfort to those who burn crosses or engage in other acts of hate

Avatar for jeffrey66
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 9:25am
Cross burning is nothing short of a hate crime, it has nothing to do with free speech. If these nutjobs want to use free speech, they can use their mouths, not a burning cross.