City Desk

Our Morning Roundup: ‘If You’re on the Wrong Side of the Badge, Your Rights Don’t Matter’

Good morning, City Desk readers, and welcome to a close-to-the-heart edition of Freedom Friday. Arlington's Pete Eyre, former leader of Bureaucrash, was arrested in Mississippi on Wednesday, along with Jason Talley and Adam Mueller, after two cops decided that filming a traffic stop was illegal. The Agitator's Radley Balko has more: "Passenger Adam Mueller attempted to videotape the traffic stop, and was arrested for doing so. It isn’t clear what happened next, but Talley and Eyre were also eventually arrested, Eyre for possession of a beer in a dry county, and Talley for disorderly conduct, disobeying, and resisting arrest." Eyre and Talley have been driving all over the country as part of their Motorhome Diaries project. The two men also know just about everyone there is to know when it comes to civil rights violations. As Eyre personally introduced me to libertarianism four years ago, I wish him and the rest of his crew luck in getting the fuck out of Mississippi.

Hate crimes and student media, after the jump.

The Supreme Court nomination odds seem more and more to be in Sonia Sotomayer's favor, but Fordham University's Paul Levinson has an objection:

The decision came from Sotomayor's Second Circuit Court last May, regarding Lewis Mills High School student Avery Doninger. While running for Senior Class Secretary, Ms. Doninger found reason to object to the school's cancellation of a "jamfest" event, and characterized those who scotched the event as "douchebags" on her off-campus LiveJournal blog (she also characterized a school official in that same blog posting as getting "pissed off"). The school officials, in turn, took umbrage, prohibited Avery from running for Class Secretary, and disregarded the plurality of votes she received, anyway, as a write-in candidate. Avery sued the school officials, and the Federal District Court supported the school. Avery appealed to Sotomayor's Second Circuit Court.

After acknowledging the Supreme Court's 1969 Tinker decision, which held that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate," Sotomayor's Court proceeded to affirm the District Court's ruling – that is, Sonia Sotomayor and her colleague justices upheld the high school's right to punish Doninger for her off-campus speech. Their reasoning was that schools have an obligation to impart to their students "shared values," which include not only the importance of free expression but a "proper respect for authority".

Chris Moody over at Cato@Liberty posted a video of jazz-man Nat Hentoff's response to recent hate crime legislation barreling its way through Congress. (Short version, via Moody: "laws that punish one time for the crime and another time for the hate violate the First Amendment, the 14th Amendment and protections against Double Jeopardy.")

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