Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » GIVE PEACE (SIGN) A CHANCE

GIVE PEACE (SIGN) A CHANCE

Filed at 8:56 pm under by dcobranchi

First Amendment 1, Morons 0

10 Responses to “GIVE PEACE (SIGN) A CHANCE”


Comment by
Tim
November 30th, 2006
at 2:47 pm

Where exactly does the first amendment come in to this story?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
November 30th, 2006
at 2:57 pm

You’re kidding, right? A quasi-governmental organization (homeowners associations in many states have the power to fine homeowners and even place the equivalent of tax liens against personal property) censures and fines a homeowner because their wreath was objectionably political. And you don’t see a 1st Amendment connection.

UPDATE: OK, the story I linked to has changed a bit. An earlier version had the board stating explicitly that it was the political message of “peace” that was problematic. And one of the members thought it Satanic. All three who voted for the fines resigned (in disgrace).


Comment by
Tim
November 30th, 2006
at 7:33 pm

Quasi-governmental organization? A homeowner’s association is privately held and owned by the home owners, hence the name. The only potential government involvement in this story would be a court deciding whether or not the homeowners did or did not violate the contract they signed when they bought the house. Just because a private company is modeled after a government, doesn’t make it one.

The first amendment prevents the government from restricting speech, it doesn’t apply to this story.


Comment by
sam
November 30th, 2006
at 8:13 pm

I think the “quasi” part is the part Tim missed. Granted, I did go ahead and look up “quasi” which certainly made the point more clear in my own mind. And with the new Firefox, it’s really easy to look stuff up, what with the right click, search option.


Comment by
Tim
November 30th, 2006
at 9:40 pm

I didn’t miss “quasi”, I put it in my own comment. The point is that just because an organization resembles a government, doesn’t mean it actually is one. Hence the first amendment does not apply to it.


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 1st, 2006
at 7:05 pm

Tim, are you saying this means that as a private citizen or private organization (like the Boy Scouts, say) , I can’t violate someone else’s civil rights?


Comment by
Tim
December 2nd, 2006
at 11:56 pm

Of course not. I’m saying the first amendment doesn’t apply to non-governmental organizations.

Private citizens and organizations have control over their own property. Daryl can freely delete any comment on his website for any reason and it doesn’t violate your right to free speech. You can say what you want, but you can’t always say it WHERE you want.

Private citizens are also free to sign a contract giving up their rights. If you’ve signed a homeowners’ association convenants contract, you’ll probably end up losing in court if you paint your house hot pink. It’s your own property, but you gave up many of your rights when you signed the contract.

As for the Boy Scouts, their problems stem from the use of government land and acceptance of government money. As homeschoolers we all know that government money has strings attached. That’s what makes such a difference between homeschooling and public-school-at-home.


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 3rd, 2006
at 7:21 pm

Hmmm – I was recalling that thread about war protesters at family funerals. Most here saw that as a First Amendment issue, yes? — but was government acting upon and/or restraining any private citizens i nthat case, or had there been contractual stipulations allowing or waiving anyone’s civil rights (including the deceased) ?

If our private civil rights ever require constitutional balancing in cases where the government isn’t the offending party, then it can’t be quite so simple, can it?


Comment by
Tim
December 4th, 2006
at 3:00 pm

I’m afraid I haven’t read the thread you’re referring to, or if I have, can’t recall it, so you have me at a disadvantage. Please provide the link so I know what you’re talking about.


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 6th, 2006
at 9:18 am

Oh, sorry – from July 24 here.
Tim, I would be VERY interested in your analysis, thanks! 🙂