Sunday, February 17, 2008

Let's get sued

WILKES-BARRE — City council passed a controversial ordinance on first reading Thursday that some believe is unconstitutional.

Is Lou Barletta disease contagious? Passing a law that invites a lawsuit is a waste of time and money. Why would W-B pass an ordinance that flies in the face of the first amendment because Kurt Shotko acted up at a parade a few years ago?

From Big Dan:

The ordinance states that people who want to protest or hold a rally, assembly, event, service or any type of demonstration on city property must apply for a $20 permit. They claim that no one will be denied a permit. Of course, if they deny a permit, I'm sure they won't be held accountable for at first claiming that they will not deny anyone a permit!

While they say they "won't deny anyone a permit," there are more than thirty reasons listed in the ordinance that enables them to do just that. Also, forcing someone to have insurance and also forcing them to pay a fee may put protesting out of reach financially for some, and that is where the City might have a Constitutional issue.

Putting a financial burden on people who want to protest the actions of THEIR GOVERNMENT is not going to fly and there is plenty of case law that has struck down similar attempts.

This is all over the internet:

I have the ACLU in Philla and H-burg looking it over. They will advise us this week. In the mean time we need a little buzz about it.

Can you guys do that?


We need to attend the WB meeting next Tuesday and Thursday.
We will need to hold a proper Demonstration at the City council meeting, to show that we are respectful
good group .

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And take off your hat when your indoors. My father drilled that into me and it's just polite.


D.B. Echo said...

I'm in.

t.g. said...

See, the hat thing... they just wanted me to do what they told me to do. Normally, I don't wear a hat indoors. Many years in the military taught me that it is the proper way to go. However...

Intrusive government is not polite either.

Perhaps I will go to the next meeting without a hat, but I bet they still pass the ordinance, put up the surveillance cameras, and continue to ignore requests for public documents. ;)

West Side Republican said...

People of Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County take notice to which party is firing the shot at you First Amendment Rights, the good ol' Democrats! Let's keep pulling that lever!

Pennsylvania Burkean said...

Actually this law does not violate the original menaing of the first amendment becuase the first word is congress and this is local government, but i do think it violates liberty without due process of law under the 14th amendment.

Fianlly there is no need for the fist amendment in this issue, becuase we have the state constition Article 1 section 20

The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes by petition, address or remonstrance.

Anonymous said...

another small time mayor and city council that does not understand the foundation of our country...