"To permit every interest group, especially those who claim to be victimized by unfair expression, their own legislative exceptions to the First Amendment so long as they succeed in obtaining a majority of legislative votes in their favor demonstrates the potentially predatory nature of what defendants seek through this Ordinance."
Sarah Evans Barker
Judge, U. S. District Court
Decision overturning Indianapolis Pornography Ordinance, 19 November, 1984
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Reader comments about this quote:
I didn't look up 'this ordinance', because the here stated principle is true.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    A very important truth. Mark Twain's statement that when you find your opinion is in agreement with the majority you'd better rethink. The majority would never have accepted the Bill of Rights.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    Yet every interest group has legislative exceptions. It's a hate crime if the victim is gay, black or Muslim, and illegal to murder a pregnant woman. What about a white male victim or murdering a non-pregnant woman? Is that somehow better?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Society has found a middle ground -- not forbidding free expression, but regulating it when necessary, like forbidding false alarms like "fire” or "bomb" in crowded theaters or airline terminals which may incite panic, or any knowingly false or libelous statement to inflict personal damage to others, or limiting prurient, excessively violent, or offensive material to specific places and times. Our founders could not have meant freedom of speech to actually harm others with it. They meant, don't forbid it just because you don't agree with it, but keep it out of someone else's face, so to speak, and don’t cause harm to anyone by it. That's the essence of the first Amendment
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I hear you Jack, but when considering free-speech rights what do we do with people like Al Sharpton who do more than yell "fire" in the theater that causes harm to people? Al Sharpton and his ilk do much worse through their lying assertions they caused great harm to come to many in places like Ferguson Missouri but yet no consequences befall this man because he is protected by a cloak of invincibility of victim status for himself and his race.
    But who are the real victims anymore it seems to me that these self-proclaimed victims have themselves become victimizers on a spree of thievery and property destruction!

    IMO they have become what they accuse others of being but they remain untouchable because of Cultural Marxism and the phony politics of race baiting.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
     -- Jim k, Austin      
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or      
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