Thursday, August 7, 2008

The constitutional right to wear a red, white and blue fez

("Free speech pen" at the Boston Democratic National Convention, 2004)

As hard as I looked at my pocket-sized copy of The Constitution, I couldn't find a single reference to safety and security at a political convention. No protection of the right to sprinkle balloons and confetti at will. No protection of the right to binge drink until you spew on your t-shirt image of Obama. No protection of the right to walk three blocks to the convention center without hearing someone shouting at you about the abridgment of civil rights.

But, there is this little Amendment, which happens to be the first listed: "Congress shall make no law (that's NO law)...abridging the freedom of press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

And still, a federal judge has agreed that the city of Denver (aw, c'mon Hick!), and the Secret Service, have the right to lock protestors in caged "free-speech" pens during the Democratic National Convention. She talks about "security" which, sorry Blackwater, isn't mentioned in the Constitution either.

Could be the judge needs a little refresher course on what "no" means.

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