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Court Rules Being Rude to Politicians is Protected Speech

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A Massachusetts court upheld the citizens' right to be rude at public meetings. Jayar Jackson, Rick Strom, and Sharon Reed discuss on The Young Turks. Watch TYT LIVE on weekdays 6-8 pm ET. http://youtube.com/theyoungturks/live

Read more HERE: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/massachusetts-protects-right-be-rude-town-meetings

"Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided Barron v. Kolenda, a case in which a resident of Southborough was ordered to leave a town meeting after (correctly) accusing the board of selectmen of violating open meeting laws, characterizing them as spending like “drunken sailors,” and describing one of the members as “a Hitler.” The state supreme court declared unconstitutional the town’s public comment policy, which requires remarks in public meetings to be “respectful and courteous, free of rude, personal, or slanderous remarks.” Civility, the court held, can’t be required in a public comment session of a governmental meeting.

The court’s ruling was striking for its focus on the state constitution’s right to assembly. Harvard Law School professor Nikolas Bowie has called the right to assembly the “ugly duckling of the First Amendment” — long-neglected as an independent source of rights and usually conflated with free speech. That’s been the case in Massachusetts as well, with state assembly rights receiving little attention in recent case law. (In a separate analysis, the court also held that the board’s public comment policy violated the right to free speech under the state constitution.)"


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230317__TB04Rude, News, Politics
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