The Spokane City Council voted 4-3 Monday night in favor of denouncing Mayor Nadine Woodward for her appearance onstage with Matt Shea and Sean Feucht at the controversial “Let Us Worship” event she attended just over a month ago.
Americans have a right to justice and, often, the only way people can see it happen is if a local court will allow cameras into the courtroom for a major case. Yes, one does need to balance the right to a fair trial and due process with the First Amendment and the citizen’s right to public information.
In June, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear in its ruling on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis that the state of Colorado cannot enforce its public-accommodation laws with Lorie Smith, the web designer who does business as 303 Creative, as the regulations violated her free-speech protections. Advocates, legal scholars and government officials have plenty of questions about what a case from Colorado could mean for businesses in Washington for LGBTQ rights.
Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech and religion, is sacred in America. Shutting down a newspaper because someone does not like the fact a reporter — or anyone — can search state records for information puts democracy in a very dangerous place.
The expansion of the concept of speech to include everything from donating money to wearing a shirt to burning a flag is weakening enforcement of the First Amendment. If everything is speech, nothing is speech.
We have the right to say whatever we want, right? Isn’t that what the First Amendment says? Not necessarily. While the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the right of free speech, there is no such restriction on the U.S. Supreme Court.