Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
Weise and Young were among three people, referred to as the "Denver Three,"* removed from the museum before Bush started speaking. They had obtained tickets for the taxpayer-financed event from a local congressional office, but when they pulled into the parking lot in a car bearing the bumper sticker "No More Blood For Oil," they were pegged as potential troublemakers by White House staff.
The White House has a policy of excluding troublemakers — even potential troublemakers — from appearances by Bush. Daniel ruled that previous courts had allowed a restriction of speech at presidential events.
Such behavior was a concern at the time and no matter what side you are on politically, it should then and now send up a red flag on First Amendment grounds. As Justice Ginsburg (joined only by Justice Sotomayor, who has had a fairly consistent liberal record so far) noted today:
I cannot see how reasonable public officials, or any staff or volunteers under their direction, could have viewed the bumper sticker as a permissible reason for depriving Weise and Young of access to the event.
As the Supreme Court rules on video games and such, it will allow this restraint of "potential troublemakers" stand.
* This is a common technique (particularly by lefties) to give catchy names that harkens back at least (probably longer) to Vietnam days and is a tad too cute.
BTW, the photo is from here, which provides further discussion of the case with some quotations from the dissenting opinion below.