However, am I correct in thinking you would still like to see such advertisements banned—if not through legislation then through policy?
I really am at a loss here. I don’t feel that you’ve shown me the courtesy of having read anything I’ve written.
I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I do not support the display of these ads in the subway. I’m actually delighted that the MTA has an advertising standard that is even higher than the standards that I previously stated. It is the MTA’s intention to block not only dangerous ads, but also demeaning ads. They may have screwed up on the specific language in their policy, but their intentions are clear. And the judge supports the MTA’s intentions to prohibit the display of “demeaning’ ads. The court just wants to ensure they are not protecting some groups, while leaving other groups vulnerable.
There are also many other circumstances in which I agree with judicial interpretations of the First Amendment. I don’t want the principal of my daughter’s school to get on the PA and lead a prayer to Jesus Christ or Allah or Ishtar. I don’t want al qaeda members standing on my street corner encouraging my neighbors to hop on the E train and go burn down the Empire State Building.
I am vehemently opposed to a display of the Ten Commandments in a public courthouse, because they are not the law of the land and we do not live in a theocracy. However, unlike (I imagine) many members here, I’m not particularly concerned about a statue of Jesus hidden along a ski slope in a national park. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/25/us/in-montana-jesus-statue-is-focus-of-legal-battle.html
And I certainly support the right of public facilities to create policies restricting certain types of paid advertising from appearing in public space. I would hope that they create effective and appropriate policies. I don’t think it would be good idea to have Anheuser Busch putting up beer ads in a junior high school gym, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to have a company that sells healing crystals put up ads in a public hospital emergency room.
Is this answer sufficient?
If so, then isn’t that still a general freedom of speech issue?
Umm. The courts don’t think so. And neither do I.
All you’ve done is shift the restriction on speech from legislation to policy.
No. I am not “shifting” any “restrictions.” I am describing how government works.
Second, how would you word a policy that bans the advertisement in your OP?
***Deep breath.*** Ok. I’m really flattered that you want me to try my hand at drafting legal language. Again, it would be so much easier to answer your questions if you showed me the courtesy of reading my previous responses to your questions. But let’s start again.
The court has found that the language that the MTA lawyers wrote (I think in 1993, but I could be wrong) was not adequate to provide equal protection to everyone. If you read the section of the judge’s statement, which I quoted, you will see that the judge said that by listing “specific disfavored” categories, the policy failed to protect other categories of people who could be harmed.
The judge suggested that the MTA change its policy to put in place a stopgap measure for its advertising guidelines, like one that would “simply ban demeaning speech across the board.”
In this case, I really agree with the judge’s ruling that the MTA policy, as currently written, does not provide enough protection. The MTA screwed up by not holding an unscheduled August meeting to amend the wording of this policy.
What criteria would you use to determine when to ban something? Would you ban anything that a certain number of people personally find offensive and think others may react violently to it?
I really am going to ask you to show me the courtesy of reading my previous posts on this topic. As I have previously stated, different criteria would apply in different circumstances. I would not object to being asked to bow my head in prayer if I were attending my cousin’s church wedding, because I knew when I walked into the church that churches engage in prayer. I would strongly object to my daughter being asked to bow her head in prayer in her public school classroom because different standards apply in public spaces.
I find myself agreeing with the vast majority of judicial interpretations of the First Amendment that currently stand. If you are unfamiliar with existing restrictions on free speech, in the US, Wikipedia may help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions
I'm not going to list every lower court decision in the history of the US and explain why I agree (or in some cases, disagree) with their decisions. If you have a specific case you would like to ask me about, I would be happy to offer my opinion.
So let me ask you a question. Do you believe in absolutely no restrictions on freedom of speech? Do you believe that the courts are violating your rights by any of the existing restrictions?
edited for formatting