Friday, February 04, 2005

RULE OF LAW - The heckler's veto!

We've all seen the drama; one not-for-profit organization, one school, one community, one scout troop, one church, and so on, tries to exercise its first ammendment right to free expression and free access and a single individual complains about the "separation of church and state" (SOCAS) and all of their plans are thrown out.

For example, Aloma Elementary School was holding a carnival to honor students who raised funds for the tsunami relief effort. The Orange County, Florida, school initially invited Christian radio station Z88.3 FM to do a live broadcast at the carnival. However, the station was later told it was uninvited because a parent had complained its participation would violate SOCAS.

Well, it is rare, but once in awhile a justice on the U. S. Supreme Court says something worthwhile. I love what is attributed to Justice [Sandra Day] O'Connor.

In one of her Supreme Court opinions, she explained that our Constitution cannot be subjected to a heckler's veto. She says, "One person, who might be offended, cannot dictate what constitutional rights of others can be exercised."

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