|While I understand and perhaps even concede the argument, given the left's propensity to "yes, but" the 2A, I believe in this 1A case the SCOTUS should shove a "yes, but" right up their a$$es.|
Posted by: TEEBONE ® |
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Law criminalizing political speech goes too far, Supremes told - WND
There are laws against "inciting" someone to commit an illegal act.
But what if the illegal act is also a political statement?
That's what the U.S. Supreme Court is being urged to address in a case brought by Evelyn Sineneng-Smith.
She's an immigration consultant in California charged with violating a statute making it a crime to "encourage" or "induce" an alien to reside in the U.S.
Sineneng-Smith sought to help two illegal-alien workers and their employer remain in the U.S. and eventually obtain permanent lawful residency status.
Her plan, however, depended on a change in the law.
She was charged when officials claimed she had misled the workers to believe they would obtain permanent lawful residency status.
She insisted she had not misled anyone, and that the law banning anyone from "encouraging" another to stay in the country in violation of the immigration laws violated the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech.
The trial court rejected her constitutional argument, and she was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The sentence was reversed on appeal and the case is at the Supreme Court.
"This statute paves the way for the government to muzzle any nonviolent, political speech that challenges government injustice," said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.
The organization has joined with others in a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Sineneng-Smith.
"This is exactly the kind of law that would have rendered countless Americans as criminals, from Revolutionary War patriots to Martin Luther King Jr., for encouraging resistance and civil disobedience in the face of government tyranny," Whitehead said.
The institute's brief denounces government efforts to "silence dissent and punish civil disobedience."
The high court, the brief contends, should "strike down as unconstitutionally overbroad a federal statute making it a crime to 'encourage' undocumented aliens to remain in the country," the Institute said.
"For example, legal advice given by an immigration attorney or a plea from a grandmother to her grandson not to abandon her could be considered criminal activity under this law."
The brief warns, "If the government may criminalize encouragement of violations of immigration laws, as (this) does, so too may the government criminalize encouragement of civil disobedience in other contexts, silencing an irreplaceable form of protest speech.
"The court should make clear that [the law], as a content-based and viewpoint-discriminatory regulation of speech that fails strict scrutiny, violates the First Amendment and offers no such blueprint for suppressing speech with which the government disagrees."
The brief acknowledges the government has a compelling interest in enforcing its immigration laws but the law "is anything but narrowly trailed to achieve that interest."
"Instead of precisely targeting unprotected speech or conduct, such as criminal solicitation, incitement, accomplice liability, or conspiracy, Congress instead expansively targeted mere encouragement of violations of immigration law – including civil immigration violations – instead of using less-restrictive, more targeted means."
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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