Defending the First Amendment
Check out this video of Christians in Dearborn, Michigan. These are police officers actually shutting down the distribution of Christian literature on public streets.
These Christians did everything right. A few points:
- They are clearly acting within their First-Amendment rights. I’ll spare you all the court citations.
- They were filming everything until they were told to stop. Pro-lifers should always bring at least one video camera; but we recommend at least two. Video evidence will deter the police (or anyone else) from lying about the facts later. If you end up in court, almost anyone who gives testimony in court, including police officers, will describe the events in a way that puts himself in the best light. Video evidence will be critically important to authenticate your story. The camera don’t lie.
- These guys obeyed the authorities in every respect. It is much, much better to be a plaintiff in a civil action than a defendant in a criminal action.
- As I understand it, the Thomas More Law Center will be representing the Americans in bringing legal action against Dearborn and their Police Department. The Thomas More Law Center has done great work for CBR over the years.
- Usually, our encounters with police are trouble-free. The overwhelming majority of police officers are good people, but as activists, we have to be aware that (a) sometimes police officers are acting under orders from superiors who are frightened, ignorant of the law, and/or corrupt, and (b) there are some police officers who take pleasure in ordering people around just because they can. The best policy is to always obey the authorities and sue later. Over and over again, the courts have upheld our right to display abortion photos in public places.
- Where possible, we notify the police ahead of time before any of our activities. It’s not legally required, but it gives the civil authorities time to educate themselves on (a) our right to engage in First-Amendment activities and (b) our commitment and ability to defend our rights in court.
Please let me know what you think! Please comment below.
Tags: First Amendment
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2010 at 8:12 am and is filed under Pro Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.