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Jan and Phil Blog

Let's At Least Try Buffer Zones

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the horrific protests by the members of the Westboro Baptist "church" are protected under the first amendment. I get that. I am sad, but I understand we can't pick and choose who is afforded this very important protection. However, when I heard about this ruling, I remembered that at both the Republican and Democratic conventions in recent years, protestors were moved blocks, miles even,  from the actual convention.  It seemed to me if that could happen to mostly reasonable people,  then certainly the idiots from Westboro could be forced to adhere to the same ordinances.  I did some research and it turns out "buffer zones" were mentioned, but not specificied or defined, by the Chief Justice Roberts in his comments on the ruling.  However, I don't believe these buffer zones have never been tested in court and I believe they come under the purview of local government. They would have to be viewed as "reasonable", whatever that means.  I don't know exactly how all of this will play out, but I'd like to see very remote "buffer zones", similar to what was enforced at the conventions, attempted at these funerals and elsewhere the WBC displays their madness.  If those  buffer zones don't get upheld in court, then look for demonstrations closer to the convention sites in the future.

 

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